Bulk Carrier Crew Thwarts Somali Attack
Somali pirates attacked a bulk carrier on Saturday, but the master and crew stopped the engines and retreated to the citadel.
A Chinese navy ship supported by an Indian navy helicopter intervened, and latest reports from the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations indicate that the pirates have now left the vessel OS35 which is again under the command of the master and heading for its next port of call under escort.
The ship was hijacked off the coast of Yemen near Socotra Island.
Some experts have indicated that some shipowners are becoming lax after a long period of little piracy activity in the region, and that some are using a route known as the Socotra Gap, between Somalia and Socotra Island, to save time and cost regardless of the piracy risks.
Last Monday, pirates hijacked the Pakistani vessel Salama 1 off the coast of Somalia, the fourth successful pirate attack in the region this year. The attack followed shortly after another group of pirates boarded and hijacked the Al Kausar, an Indian sailing dhow.
The recent hijackings mark the end of a five-year hiatus in Somali piracy. There were over 200 attacks in 2011, but a combination of embarked private security contractors and international naval patrols all but eliminated the threat after 2012.