Armed guards deter pirate attack off Somalia

FEBRUARY 17, 2014 — Fire from armed guards aboard the 3,527 dwt RO/RO cargo vessel Andrea successfully deterred a pirate attack off the coast of Somalia last week.

According to a NATO alert, the attack took place Thursday: "A merchant vessel has been reported to be approached by one skiff a 1454 UTC in position 01 07N 044 07E. Skiff fired back to the warning shots delivered by the AST on board and aborted approach.

A Xinhua report cites Kenyan maritime official as saying that said assailants aboard a white hulled skiff attacked the Andrea while underway to the port of Mogadishu, Somalia.

The Xinhua report cites Kenya Seafarers Union (KSU) Secretary General Andrew Mwangura as none of the Andrea's 17 crew members, the majority of whom are Kenyans, was injured,

Mr. Mwangura told Xinhua that the attackers launched two unsuccessful attempts to hijack the ship. He said the security team aboard the merchant ship returned gunfire, forcing the gunmen to abort the attack and sail away.

The ship 1983-buit, Sierra Leone flagged Andrea is operated and managed by the Mombasa-based Alpha Logistics Company.