Pirates abandon sugar ship near Somalia

Pirates abandon sugar ship near SomaliaPirates abandoned a sugar cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden, leaving two crew members injured, the European Union’s anti-piracy task force said.

The injured were members of the crew of 22 Syrians and two Egyptians of the 18,838-ton Syria Star that was boarded off the coast of Somalia.

Pirates held the boat for two days before escaping on the ship’s life boats, a statement from the European Union Naval Force Somalia — Operation Atalanta.

The ship’s captain radioed for help after the pirates had left and EU NAVFOR frigate the FGS Schleswig-Holstein, of the German navy, was in the vicinity and sent a helicopter with a medical team on-board to assist the vessel.

The injuries were said to be non-life-threatening.

“It is always good to hear a hijacked ship is free and now EU NAVFOR will give the injured crew members the medical assistance they require,” EU NAVFOR Force commander Swedish Rear Adm. Jan Thornqvist said.

Pirates are holding at least 16 ships and hundreds of crew members, including a British couple seized from their yacht last October.

The task force’s main work is to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Program and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia. It also protects vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean against piracy and monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.

Earlier this month an EU NAVFOR ship stopped an attack on the Norwegian chemical tanker Bow Saga after the captain sent a distress call that it was under attack in the middle of the Gulf of Aden.

The Spanish frigate Victoria, which had its helicopters patrolling at the time, was at the ship within 10 minutes, EU NAVFOR said in a statement. Read more:  Maritime Connector

Source: terradaily.com – Maritime Connector

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