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Pirates Grab Greek Ship, but Two Navies Stop Other Pirate Attacks

Greek Authorities Acknowledge Cargo Ship Captured

The M/V SALDANHA, a Maltese-flagged bulk cargo ship with a crew of 22 was seized off of Somalia on February 21, 2009. The ship was transporting coal to Slovenia.

During January, a Greek captain was killed by pirates as pirates seized another Greek vessel off the coast of Cameroon. Also during January, EU forces foiled a pirate attack on a Greek-flagged crude oil tanker off the coast of Somalia.

On February 26, 2009, the HDMS ABSALON, a Danish warship, prevented pirates from hijacking a Chinese cargo ship, M/V YANDANHAI, in the Gulf of Aden. Danish sailors found a skiff with seven suspected pirates, armed with a rocket-propelled grenade, four AK-47 assault rifles, two grenades and a knife.

Reports say the Chinese sailors fended off the pirates with fire hoses until the navy ship appeared. The pirates were disarmed but not detained.

Additionally, a navy helicopter from the Chinese destroyer, HAIKOU, drove off a couple of small pirate boats closing in on an Italian-owned, Liberian-flagged cargo ship by shooting flares at them. The Chinese have three ships patrolling the Gulf of Aden since the end of last year.