Pirates seize Norwegian vessel off Somalia

Pirates have captured a Norwegian-owned vessel off the coast of Somalia with a crew of 27 people aboard. The vessel from Bergen was on commission work for the Norwegian shipping company Odfjell.

Photo: Tord Avsnes Sæle / Odfjell

Photo: Tord Avsnes Sæle / Odfjell

The Norwegian chemical tankers, the Bow Asir, had a crew of 27 and a Norwegian captain. It was hijacked by 16 to 18 pirates the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association (NSA) said. The owner of the Bow Asir, Salhus Shipping AS said it received a security alert message from the Bow Asir at 0729GMT saying the ship was being chased by two small boats with suspected pirates on board.

The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, which patrols the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden, confirmed the hijacking of the tanker Bow Asir. The ship is Bahaman-flagged, said fleet spokesman Lt. Nate Christensen.

The 9,000-ton Greek-owned vessel Nipayia, with 19 crew members, was also attacked about 450 miles (720 kilometers) off Somalia on Wednesday afternoon, an EU military spokesman said.

The Norwegian Government reported on Feb. 27 that they plan to join the EU Naval Force and send a new Nansen-Class Frigate to the anti-piracy naval operation ATALANTA outside Somalia this summer.

Approximately 1000 Norwegian controlled vessels sail through the area every year, reported the Norwegian Government back in February. A number of Norwegian vessels have been attacked by pirates, but this is the first time a Norwegian vessel is hijacked, according to the Norwegian Ministry of Defence.

Source: AP

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