Unsafe waters

Somali pirates seize chemical tanker

by Port News Editorial Staff

Six Somali pirates hijacked a chemical tanker while it was sailing off the Horn of Africa, 180 nautical miles southeast of Socotra.

The Aegean II, flying the Panamanian flag, was sailing from the United Arab Emirates to the port of Mogadishu when it apparently had mechanical problems. The ship had to suddenly reduce her speed from six to one knot before she could regain speed.

The pirates probably took advantage of the situation to board and seize the Aegean. The number and nationality of the sailors are not yet known.

The episode once again draws attention to the problem of the lack of safety in Somali waters, even if piracy episodes in the area have decreased dramatically in recent years. This would be the first hijacking since 2017.

Translation by Giles Foster

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