Factbox: Ships Held by Somali Pirates

April 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

(Reuters) – Here are details of ships still held by Somali pirates after pirates said on Sunday they had released the Greek-owned MV Eagle.

The Eagle was seized last January en route to India from Jordan. It had a crew of 24 Filipinos.

* SOCOTRA 1: Seized on December 25, 2009 in the Gulf of Aden. Yemeni-owned ship had six Yemeni crew.

* ICEBERG 1: Seized on March 29, 2010. Roll-on roll-off vessel captured 10 miles from Aden. Crew of 24.

* JIH-CHUN TSAI 68: Taiwanese fishing vessel seized on March 30. Crew of 14: Taiwanese captain, two Chinese and 11 Indonesians.

* Three Thai fishing vessels — PRANTALAY 11, 12 and 14 — hijacked on April 17-18. Total of 77 crew.

* SUEZ: Seized on August 2. Panama-flagged cargo ship hijacked in the Gulf of Aden. Carrying cement. Crew of 23 all from Egypt, 1akistan, Sri Lanka and India.

* OLIB G: Seized on September 8. Maltese-flagged merchant vessel with 18 crew — 15 Georgians, three Turks.

* CHOIZIL: Seized on October 26. South-African-owned yacht was hijacked after leaving Dar es Salaam. European Union anti-piracy task force rescued one South African but two other crew members were taken ashore and held as hostages.

* POLAR: Seized on Oct 30: Liberian-owned Panama-flagged 72,825-tonne tanker seized 580 miles east of Socotra. Crew of 24 — one Romanian, three Greeks, four Montenegrins, 16 Filipinos.

* YUAN XIANG: Seized on November 12. Chinese-owned cargo ship captured off Oman. Crew of 29 Chinese.

* ALBEDO: Seized on November 26. Malaysian-owned cargo vessel was taken 900 miles off Somalia as it headed for Mombasa from UAE. Crew of 23 from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Iran.

* PANAMA: Seized on December 10: Liberian-flagged container ship en route from Tanzania to Beira. Crew of 23 from Myanmar.

* RENUAR: Seized on December 11: Liberian-owned bulk cargo vessel, 70,156 dwt, captured en route to Fujairah from Port Louis. Crew of 24 Filipinos.

* ORNA: Seized on December 20: The Panama-flagged bulk cargo vessel, 27,915 dwt, owned by the United Arab Emirates, was seized 400 miles northeast of the Seychelles.

* SHIUH FU NO 1: Seized December 25: Somali pirates appeared to have seized the Taiwanese-owned fishing vessel near the northeast tip of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The vessel had a crew of 26 Taiwanese, Chinese and Vietnamese nationals.

* VEGA 5: Seized before December 31: Somali pirates hijacked the 140 dwt Mozambican-flagged fishing vessel about 200 miles southwest of the Comoros. There were two Spaniards, three Indonesians and 19 Mozambicans on board.

* BLIDA: Seized on January 1, 2011: The 20,586-tonne Algerian-flagged bulk carrier was seized about 150 miles southeast of Salalah, Oman. The ship, with 27 crew from Algeria, Ukraine and the Philippines, was heading to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, from Salalah with a cargo of clinker.

* HOANG SON SUN: Seized on January 19: The 22,835-tonne bulk carrier, which is Mongolian flagged and Vietnamese-owned and had a crew of 24 Vietnamese nationals, was seized about 520 nautical miles southeast of the port of Muscat.

* SAVINA CAYLYN: Seized on February 8: The 104,255-dwt tanker, Italian-flagged and owned, was on passage to Malaysia from Sudan when it was attacked 670 miles east of Socotra Island. It had five Italians and 17 Indians on board.

* SININ: Seized on February 12: The Maltese owned and registered bulk carrier was seized with a crew of 13 Iranian and 10 Indian nationals in the North Arabian Sea. The 53,000 dwt vessel was on route to Singapore from Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates.

* ALFARDOUS: Seized on February 13: The Yemeni fishing vessel was believed to have been pirated close to Socotra Island in the Gulf of Aden and has a crew of eight.

* DOVER: Seized on February 28: It was taken about 260 nautical miles north east of Salalah in Oman. The Panamanian flagged, Greek owned vessel was on its way to Saleef (Yemen) from Port Quasim (Pakistan) when it was attacked. The crew consists of three Romanians, one Russian and 19 Filipinos.

* SINAR KINDUS: Seized on March 16: The Indonesian flagged and owned bulk cargo carrier was pirated approximately 320 miles North East of Socotra in the Somali Basin. The ship, which carried a crew of 20, was quickly used to launch further attacks.

* ZIRKU: Seized on March 28: The UAE-flagged and Kuwaiti-owned oil tanker, bound for Singapore from Sudan, was pirated approximately 250 nautical miles South East of Salalah in the eastern part of the Gulf of Aden. The 105,846 dwt tanker carried a 29-strong crew including one Croatian, 17 Pakistanis, one Iraqi, one Filipino, one Indian, three Jordanians, three Egyptians and two Ukrainians.

* SUSAN K: Seized on April 8: The German-owned, Antigua and Barbuda-flagged vessel was traveling to Port Sudan from Mumbai in India when it was pirated 200 nautical miles northeast of Salalah, Oman. The 4,450 dwt vessel carried a crew of 10 from Ukraine and the Philippines.

* ROSALIA D’AMATO: Seized on April 21: The Italian-owned bulk carrier was captured 350 miles off the coast of Oman. The 74,500 tone bulk carrier was on its way to Bandar Imam Khomeini in Iran from Brazil with a cargo of soya. The crew consisted of six Italians and 15 Filipinos.

Sources: Reuters/Ecoterra International/International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Center/Lloyds List/Inquirer.net/www.eunavfor.eu/ http://www.shipping.nato.int/CounterPir/?IFUNDERATT_state=max

(Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)

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Once More to Gaza

February 11, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

By Susan Schwartz, MMNS

Readers of The Muslim Observer are familiar with the Free Gaza Movement which in August of 2008 sailed two ships from Cyprus to Gaza breaking a decades long blockade by Israel. Four more missions followed successfully. The sixth voyage resulted in an attack by Israeli Naval forces that severely damaged the ship putting the lives of all aboard in jeopardy. The captain was able to bring the ship safely to a port in Lebanon; during the seventh attempt Israeli threats to the safety of the passengers along with terrible weather forced the ship to return to port.The eighth vessel was hijacked by the Israeli Navy, resulting in the confiscation of the vessel and the imprisonment of its passengers and crew in Israel. Despite repeated requests from Free Gaza attorneys, the ship has not yet been returned.
This courageous undertaking was the inspiration for other subsequent movements to aid the beleaguered people of Gaza.

Those who believed that the mission was over, that the dream had ended, did not reckon correctly with the dedication and courage of the people of the Free Gaza Movement. This spring a flotilla of six to ten boats will again sail to Gaza. Of these, five have been funded by IHH from Turkey, and a third, a cargo ship, has been funded by donations from the people of Malaysia. This time the Israeli Navy will be faced with a small navy, a navy of freedom fighters.

The ships will carry reconstruction material essential to the rebuilding of Gaza yet forbidden to them by the Israelis.

Fundraising is essential as is maximum publicity. Returning members of Viva Palestina and the Gaza Freedom March make excellent speakers for fundraising events. Since the Israeli occupiers do not permit the importation of paper or paper products, the Free Gaza Movement has launched a campaign which it has titled: The Right to Read. Books that are desperately needed are listed on the group’s web site: <www.freegaza.org>. If reconstruction material is to be donated, please contact friends@freegaza.org.

Three leaders and founders of the Free Gaza Movement were recently honored by the San Jose Peace and Justice Center. Greta Berlin, Paul Larudee and Kathy Sheets were each given a Gertrude Welch Peace and Justice Award.

The California organization established the award to honor those who made an outstanding contribution to social justice and peace both locally and globally.
Those who support the goals of the Free Gaza Movement but are not able to make the trip are urged to work in an auxiliary capacity.

In addition to fundraising and publicity supporters can urge their members of congress or parliament to join the voyagers. The Movement already has Members of Parliament from South Africa, Turkey, Malaysia, Europe, and South America on board.

Members of a land crew, support crew and media are also needed for the coming journey.

Suggestions, volunteering and contributions may be made at the above cited web site.

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Cynthia McKinney Demands Immediate Release After Her Gaza-Bound Boat is Seized by Israeli Navy

July 2, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Former U.S. lawmaker and Green Party leader Cynthia McKinney, a longtime activist for the Palestinians, says her boat, the Spirit of Humanity, was carrying medical supplies, cement, olive trees and children’s toys to Gaza when it was seized by an Israeli navy ship.

Former U.S. lawmaker and Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney, whose relief boat was seized by an Israeli naval ship Tuesday for the second time in a year, is demanding the immediate release of her and 20 other activists.

McKinney, a longtime supporter of Palestinians, said her Greek-flagged boat, the Spirit of Humanity, was carrying medical supplies, cement, olive trees and children’s toys to Gaza when it was boarded by the Israeli navy.

“This is an outrageous violation of international law against us,” said McKinney. “Our boat was not in Israeli waters and we were on a human rights mission to the Gaza Strip. President Obama just told Israel to let in humanitarian and reconstruction supplies, and that’s exactly what we tried to do. We’re asking the international community to demand our release so we can resume our journey.”

The Israeli military issued a statement Tuesday saying that the boat had attempted to break a blockade of Gaza and was forced to sail to an Israeli port after ignoring a radio message to stay out of Gaza waters.

The statement said navy personnel boarded the freighter Arion without any shots being fired, and those on board were to be handed over to immigration authorities. Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Israel was planning to free the crew and passengers.

“Nobody wants to keep them here,” he said. “They will be released as soon as they are checked.”

The humanitarian cargo was also to be trucked into the Gaza Strip after a security check.

In a statement released by the Green Party, McKinney said she had sent appeals to Obama and the State Department for assurances of protection for the relief mission. She said the boat was sailing in international waters when it was seized.

The White House nor the State Department was immediately available for comment.

This isn’t the first time a boat carrying McKinney has clashed with an Israeli navy ship. In December, McKinney was among 16 people aboard a medical supply boat that collided with an Israeli naval ship as it tried to enter coastal waters around Gaza.

At the time, the group claimed the Israeli military fired machine guns into the water in an attempt to the stop the boat’s progress. But a spokesman for Israel’s foreign ministry said “physical contact” was made only after the aid boat failed to respond to radio contact and he denied any gunfire had occurred.

Israel launched an offensive in December against Gaza in an attempt to halt years of Palestinian rocket attacks on southern Israel. The two sides reached a cease-fire in January.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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