Piracy & Ship Attacks--March 25, 2010

Latest reports on pirates and ship seizures.

Guard Kills Somali Pirate, Remaining Six Freed

During an attack on a merchant ship off the coast of East Africa, a private security guard shot and killed a Somali pirate in what is being reported as the first death involving gun fire between private security personnel and the pirates. The pirates were captured and taken into custody Wednesday and released Thursday.

In the midst of increased attacks off East Somalia, private guards on board the MV Almezaan opened fire after a skiff of pirates approached the vessel twice. During the pirates' second attempt to encroach on the Panamanian-flagged cargo ship, gun fire was exchanged between the pirates and security personnel, eventually killing one pirate.

The EU Naval Force frigate was dispatched and sent a helicopter to locate the pirates. Seven pirates were found, including one who died from gunshot wounds. The six remaining were taken into custody and released Thursday because the cargo ship did not provide sufficient evidence.

* * *

Virgin Islands Cargo Ship Hijacked

A Bermuda-flagged cargo ship and 25 crew members were hijacked in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday.

The 479,800 cbm reefer MV Talca was on its way to Bushier, Iran from Sokhna, Egypt when it was attacked 120 nautical miles off the coast of Oman and 180 miles south of Mazera.

The vessel had already passed through the International Recommended Transit Corridor patrolled by warships and patrol aircraft.

* * *