S Korean-skippered vessel outruns Somali 'pirates'

2017-05-27 19:03
Ship at sea. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Ship at sea. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Seoul - A fishing vessel, initially believed to have been hijacked off the Somalian coast early on Saturday, was confirmed to be operating as normal, the South Korean foreign ministry said.

The Mongolian-flagged ship - with a South Korean captain, and two South Korean and 18 Indonesian crew members -- successfully outdistanced a suspicious boat that had pursued it for more than an hour in an apparent attempt to capture it, the ministry said in a statement.

The ship had raised the alarm that it was being chased before contact was lost, prompting a South Korean anti-piracy naval ship in the area to sail to its rescue.

"Contact has been re-established with the (South Korean) skipper and it has been confirmed the crew are all safe", the ministry's statement added.

Somali pirates hijacked an Iranian fishing boat with a crew of up to 20 on Tuesday. There have been at least eight attacks by Somali pirates in recent months and three successful hijackings.

Last week the Indian navy thwarted an attempted hijacking, chasing away at least three boats that had swarmed a cargo vessel off Somalia's northeast.

Lawlessness and a lack of job opportunities in Somalia, combined with the waning attention of international anti-piracy patrols has given piracy new life.

Somali pirates began staging attacks in 2005, seriously disrupting a major international shipping route and costing the global economy billions of dollars a year.

Read more on:    somalia  |  east africa

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