Last week EU Naval Force confirmed that the Malaysian flagged Motor Vessel, MV Albedo, held by armed pirates in an anchorage close to the Somali coast since November 2010, had sunk in rough seas.
Since then EU Naval Force warships and a Maritime Patrol Aircraft have conducted sea and air searches in the area to look for survivors.
As reported last week, an EU Naval Force Maritime Patrol Aircraft sighted two life boats on a Somali beach approximately 14 miles north of the position of the Albedo. No members of the MV Albedo crew or pirates were sighted in or near the lifeboats.
Yesterday, a helicopter from an EU Naval Force warship overflew MV Albedo and the fishing vessel FV Naham 3, which is tied astern of MV Albedo’s visible superstructure by ropes. FV Naham 3 was pirated on 26 March last year with 28 hostages on board.
The EU Naval Force helicopter was able to confirm that FV Naham 3 remains under the control of pirates, with aerial photographs showing armed men on the upper deck. There have been no sightings of the MV Albedo or FV Naham 3 hostages on board FV Naham 3, so their whereabouts cannot be verified by EU Naval Force at this time.
It is understood that negotiations are on-going between a hostage support programme and the pirates to try and secure the safe release of the hostages.