Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Somali pirates hijack three ships

Somali pirates have captured a freighter, a bulk carrier and a chemical tanker - despite a large foreign warship presence in the Gulf of Aden. Ending 2009 with a flurry of hijackings in one of the most profitable years to date, the Somali sea bandits' latest catch on Tuesday was the St James Park - a UK-flagged chemical tanker with a crew of 26 from nine different countries.

Andrew Mwangura, from the East Africa Seafarers Assistance Programme, said the tanker was seized en route from Spain to Thailand but had been commandeered near the northern Somali coast. He said the vessel's last safe port of call was Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and that the crew included seamen from Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Philippines, Poland, Georgia, India and Turkey.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Simon Jones from Trinton International, a maritime risk and security assessment company, said: "The problem is the area of sea they are trying to protect is so vast ... that [searching for] a few pirates sprinkled around the area ... is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

"The only realistic way that piracy can be stopped at sea ... is for those vessels to be pratically prepared to prevent piracy occurring, preventing them getting on board and preventing them from getting close to the vessel ... the navies cannot be there all the time."



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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