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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 23, 2009

One dead, one wounded aboard ship freed by pirates

In a reminder of the deadly nature of Somali piracy, Dutch Marines on board the just-released MV Marathon found one seafarer dead from a gunshot wound and another with a bullet wound, but in stable condition.

The dead man was reportedly the vessel's second engineer and was killed in the initial attack on the vessel. The wounded man has been identified as a cook.

The Marathon had a Ukrainian crew of eight. At a briefing today, the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Intelligence Service, Mykola Malomuzh, said the owners had paid a ransom of $1.3 million. It was air dropped to the ship Monday

The pirates seized the Netherlands Antilles-flagged vessel, owned by Western Marine Transport NV and managed by Amons & Co., on May 7. The 2,575-tonne ship was carrying coke and was westbound through the Gulf of Aden when it was seized inside the so called safe corridor. It was seen as a high risk vessel with a small freeboard and capable of just 10 knots.

Personnel from the Royal Netherlands Navy frigate De Seven Provinciën are currently on board the Marathon and have been providing medical assistance and fresh food, water and fuel.

De Seven Provinciën, which is part of the NATO Allied Protector operation, is now escorting Marathon to Djibouti


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