Armed Pirates Chase and Fire Upon Tanker off Somalia

Image Courtesy: Interpol

Six armed persons in a skiff chased and fired upon a product tanker MT Costina underway off the coast of Somalia on April 22, according to IMB Piracy Reporting Centre.

The incident occurred in the evening hours while the 7,018 dwt tanker was some 5.7 nautical miles East of Somali coast.

The skiff chased the tanker for nearly two hours and then moved away due to the continuous evasive manoeuvres.

One crew was reported injured following the incident.

IMB said that the Master raised the alarm and sent a distress message, to which a warship responded.

Upon receipt of the distress call, EU NAVFOR’s Spanish flagship ESPS Galicia, which was 14 nautical miles away, launched a SH-3D Sea King helicopter and sailed at full speed towards MT Costina.

Upon arrival at the scene, ESPS Galicia’s helicopter conducted a full aerial search. After confirming that the skiff was no longer in the sea area, ESPS Galicia’s special operations team went on board MT Costina to reassure the master and his crew.

An inspection of MT Costina’s upper deck confirmed that the ship’s structure had a number of bullet holes from the pirate attack, but it was assessed that MT Costina could continue to its next port of call.

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