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Januray 2, 2010

Pirates seize two more ships

Somali pirates celebrated the New Year by hijacking two ships on January 1--a U.K. flag car carrier and a Singapore-flag chemical carrier.

On the late afternoon of January 1, the U.K. flagged M/V Asian Glory (a vehicle carrier) owned by Zodiac Maritime Agency, was hijacked in the Somali Basin approximately 900 nautical miles north of the Seychelles and 600 miles from the coast of Somalia.

Asian Glory was well outside the normal EU NAVFOR operating area. The ship has a crew of 25 persons (8 Bulgarian, 10 Ukraines, 5 Indians, 2 Romanian) and all are reported to be well. The ship was registred with MSC HOA and was transiting north west towards the International Recommended Transiting Corridor that she was expected to enter January 3.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) says the Singapore-registered chemical tanker, M.T. PRAMONI, was boarded by suspected pirates while transiting the Gulf of Aden. A distress alert was sent by the vessel at about 17.30 hrs on January 1 (Singapore time) while at position Lat 12 deg 30 N Long 47deg 17 E.

Prior to the incident, the the 20,000 dwt vessel was on its way from Genoa, Italy to Kandla, India.

MPA is working with relevant government agencies and the ship manager, GBLT Shipmanagement Pte Ltd., a subsidiaryof PT Berlian Laju Tanker Tbk.

The ship manager's emergency and crisis control center in Singapore has been manned since the start of the situation. It is working to establish communication with the vessel to ascertain the safety of the crew and cargo.

According to EU NAVFOR, the ship has a crew of 24 persons (5 Chinese, 17 Indonesian, 1 Nigerian, 1 Vietnamese).

EU NAVFOR says that the ship's master reported on VHF that the ship was hijacked and all the crew are well. The ship is presently heading south towards Somalia.


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