Hijacked ship yet to be traced

The  incident was reported through the UK Maritime Trade Operations and there has been no communication from the hijackers till late Sunday.

“We are still not sure as to the demands of the hijackers who are probably from Somalian coast. So far they have not contacted the owners or the company officials or any member of designated authorities,”  Directorate General of Shipping chief, Satish Agnihotri told Deccan Herald.

MT Fairchem, a 26,350 DWT (Dead Weight Tonnes) chemical tanker sailing under Marshall Islands flag  was in the designated anchorage area of Salalah port at Oman, awaiting berthing instructions when the hijackers managed to board the ship from a vessel that was ferrying cattle load.

The ship prior to reaching Salalah had discharged cargo at Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia and from Oman port and was to proceed towards China.

According to Anglo-Eastern Management officials, all crew members, “appear safe with no injuries.”

Giving details about the hijacking, the shipping company officials disclosed that when Omani Coast Guard approached the vessel the pirates asked them to move away to avoid casualties to the crew.

The ship, according to sources, has scurried off towards Somalia direction from Oman.
International maritime operation Oceanus, specialising in dealing with high seas piracy, in its statement mentioned that the hijacked vessel was probably, “transiting southwest of the hijack position and is likely making its way to Somalia.
However, it is possible that the vessel may be used as a mother ship to launch attacks on unsuspecting merchant ships, despite the unfavourable weather conditions prevailing during the Southwest monsoon.”

High piracy
In the recent times, there  have seen a spate of high seas piracy along Oman coast on the Arabian Peninsula.

Maritime watchers consider Indian Ocean coast off Somalia as one of the world’s most dangerous bay due to fulmination of pirates in the region.

The Gulf of Aden that links Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea had earlier always been favoured by ships cruising from Asia to Europe and America.

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