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NETHERLANDS MINISTRY OF DEFENCE

June 9, 2010

Crew abandons ship that escaped Somali pirates

The crew of the North Korean merchant ship MV RIM have abandoned it -- after freeing it from Somali pirates June 2 and escaping to the open sea..

MV RIM been hijacked on February 3 and was being held at Garacad, off Somalia's northern coastline, when the crew overpowered the pirates and retook their ship.

The Spanish frigate Victoria, part of the EU-NAVFOR counterpiracy operation, came to the rescue and prevented other pirates from retaking it. However, the MV RIM was in very poor condition and the machinery quit after a short time, leaving the ship drifting rudderless.

EU NAVOR despatched the Netherlands Navy ship Johan de Witt to assist, mainly because it has two hospital facilities. The Spanish frigate transfered one RIM crew member with gun shot wounds to the Johan de Witt so that he could undergo immediate surgery. He was one of three RIM crew who received injuries in the escape.

Technicians from the Dutch ship boarded the RIM and found that the ship was beyond repair. The electricity had gone, as had the navigation. The poor condition of the ship, combined with the high seas and wind, caused the ship to take on water, At the request of the Master, the crew of the RIM was taken on board the Dutch warship for later discharge at Djibouti.

The RIM was left floating and was being monitored by the operational headquarters of EU Navfor so as not to endanger shipping.


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