Somali Pirates Holding 14 Ships With 250+ Men Hostage

Another day, another Somali pirate hijacking. Kind of ridiculous in this day and age that the world is being bested by pirates. And kind of of funny.

Times UK: Pirates who hijacked an oil super tanker yesterday have begun to negotiate with the vessel’s owners and have taken the ship towards the Somali pirate haven of Eyl, the US Navy has said.

The Saudi-owned Sirius Star, which was carrying two million barrels of oil valued at $100 million was captured with its multi-national crew, including two Britons, 450 miles off the coast of Kenya on Sunday.

…The 318,000-tonne tanker, three times the size of an aircraft carrier, is not only the largest ship yet to be hijacked by increasingly audacious pirates, but the furthest out to sea than any previous attacks.

…The gangs’ methods vary little, even when taking a 320,000-tonne monster like the Sirius Star. Gunmen typically approach on small speedboats, opening fire on the bridge until the ship’s captain submits and allows them on board, usually throwing down a ladder. The average reaction time between spotting the pirates and being boarded is 15 minutes.

….Negotiations with ships’ owners can go on for several months and are clouded in secrecy. Fourteen ships with more than 250 crew members are being held as negotiations continue. Among them is the Ukrainian arms ship Faina, which was captured in August with a cargo of 33 battle tanks, hundreds of crates of Kalashnikovs and ammunition.

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