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CURRENT ISSUE

ARM MERCHANT SHIPS?
Should merchant ships transiting high risk areas carry small arms for defense against pirates?

Selected crew should be trained and have guns available
Professional armed security teams should be hired
No guns on merchant ships, ever

June 12, 2009

Pirates hijack ship in Omani waters

Somali pirates have struck in Omani waters for the first time.

The 2,800 gt Antigua and Barbuda flagged general cargo ship Charelle was hijacked Friday afternoon some 60 nautical miles south of Sur on the Omani coast and was headed for Somali waters under pirate control before NATO warships could intervene.

The seizure comes within days of a warning from Combined Maritime Forces that Somali pirates are ranging further afield in search of victims.

The Charelle is registered to Tarmstedt International Ltd of Samoa, which is widely reported to be controlled by German interests. It is managed by Tradex Marine Ltd of New Zealand.

Since being delivered from Seebeckwerft in Bremen in 1985, the 85 m Charelle has had a string of previous names, the most recent being Sofrana Bligh and before that, ANL Trader, Tarmstedt, Tarnstedt, Tarnstad, Eemlagune, Stadt Leer and Valiant.


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