Crew member swims for two days to escape pirates

A crew member of a Japanese chemical tanker hijacked by pirates off the Somali coast on October 28 escaped and has been rescued after spending two days at sea, a maritime official said on Monday.

”We are informed that one crew member escaped from the vessel, swam and was rescued,” said Andrew Mwangura, head of the Kenya chapter of the Seafarers’ Assistance Programme.

The Golden Nori was hijacked with 23 crew members aboard, including two South Koreans.

”After the vessel was hijacked, the crew member swam for two days, after which he was saved and he is now reported to be in South Korea,” said Mwangura, adding that he could not confirm for the moment if the man was South Korean.

Mwangura said ”ransom talks are currently under way in Singapore and Malaysia” in a bid to free the vessel. He explained that the size of ransom depended on the cost, type and ownership of the cargo, the value and nationality of the ship as well as the nationality of the crew. ”The talks are usually held in secret.”

Rampant piracy off Somalia’s vast coastline stopped in the second half of 2006 during six months of strict rule by an Islamist movement that was ousted by Ethiopian and Somali government troops at the end of the year.

Somalia lies at the mouth of the Red Sea — on a major Indian Ocean trade route between Asia and Europe via the Suez Canal — and has lacked a functional government since the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

The International Maritime Bureau has urged freighters to stay away from Somalia, whose 3 700km coastline is a hot spot for sea ambushes.

The French navy is due mid-November to deploy a vessel to protect United Nations World Food Programme-charted ships, which have been targeted while ferrying supplies to Somalia in recent months.

A surge of piracy off the Horn of Africa nation has put Somalia alongside Indonesia and Bangladesh as the worst zones in sea ambushes.

But the United States navy, part of the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa (CTF-150), based in Djibouti to fight terrorism in the volatile region, has upped its crackdown on pirates. It has urged the pirates to abandon the vessels.

The CTF-150 also operates under international maritime conventions to secure international waters for commercial shipping and fishing. — Sapa-AFP

Keep the powerful accountable

Subscribe for R30/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Gauteng’s top matriculants excited about the future

All top learners from Gauteng received bursaries for their university education

Whistleblowers: Your testimony makes South Africa proud

Those brave people who speak truth to power elevate the Constitution to more than just a text.

Environmental education is in the syllabus but teaching it is...

Institutions and nonprofits have stepped in to provide training, manuals and other support.

Sub-Saharan Africa children show higher Covid-19 death rate than elsewhere

Infants younger than one year in Africa have nearly five times the risk of death than those aged 15 to 19 years after contracting the virus
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×