Ayinde O. Chase - AHN News EditorAntananarivo, Madagascar (AHN) - A Spanish fishing vessel narrowly escaped an attack and hijacking by pirates off the coast of Madagascar. The Tuesday incident marks the first such act by pirates in the Mozambique Channel.
The ship's owners, the Echebasta Co., released a statement stating, "This morning, our tuna trawler, the Campolibre Alai, was the victim of a pirate attack in the waters of Madagascar, near the waters of the French island of Mayotte."
The trawler engaged in evasive maneuvers and was able to escape without any injuries.
Echebasta also revealed that security measures on board had “functioned effectively.”
According to maritime sources, the attack occurred 70 nautical miles east of Mayotte and 90 nautical miles from Madagascar, in the northern part of the Mozambique Channel.
The nearby Gulf of Aden off east Africa has been rife with piracy over the past few years and pirates have been able to make off with millions of dollars in ransoms.
In 2009 the Spanish tuna fishing vessel, Alakrana, and its crew of 36 were taken hostage for more than a month off the coast of Somalia, where pirates have bases. They were finally freed after a ransom of $4 million was paid.
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