SA crews fight off pirates

2011-10-05 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Several South Africans were involved in a battle with pirates in the Indian Ocean off Tanzania’s coast just after midnight yesterday morning.

In a gun battle that raged for hours, the crews on an oil tanker and supply vessel defended their ships against the pirates.Both ships belong to an international company, Ocean Rig, which reportedly employs between 15 and 25 South Africans.Die Burger reports that no more information was available on the attack and even the South African government could only obtain scraps of information. Ocean Rig, which also maintains an office in Tanzania, refused to comment. One of the South Africans, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the pirates boarded the vessels and started shooting with AK47s. The crew rushed to an armoured panic cabin specially built for pirate attacks, where they stayed for five hours. As far as the source could establish, one pirate was shot in the leg. A government spokesperson said it seems the company will make no further communication available until the attack has been investigated,

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