Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
Somali pirate mothership seen hunting vessels far out to sea

Thursday May 9, 2024
By Bojan Lepic

Reports have surfaced of a pirate mothership being spotted operating in the Indian Ocean, some 1,000 km from the Somalia mainland.

According to Seagull Maritime Security, the mothership has been sighted about 650 km east of Socotra Island.

“Shipping companies and masters need to remain vigilant and increase their security on board their vessel as well as to report any suspicious activity through the necessary channels,” Seagull Maritime stated.

This sighting comes at a time when the Houthis are also extending their range of attacks to a similar area.

“Shipping is vulnerable to extortion and pirates may be emboldened by what is going on in the Red Sea. It could just be opportunistic, but we must be prepared for the prospect that we will see a period of renewed hijackings and piracy attacks at sea,” commented Captain Rahul Khanna, global head of marine risk consulting at Allianz Commercial.

Last month, Somali pirates were in the headlines after releasing a hijacked Bangladeshi ship, Abdullah, and its 23-strong crew after a $5m ransom was paid. The ship was hijacked back in March during its trip from Mozambique to the United Arab Emirates.

Pirates from Somalia were quiet for six years but recently hit several vessels. Naval forces freed fishing boats seized by gunmen and thwarted other attempted attacks. A few months ago, Indian commandos boarded and recaptured the Maltese-flagged Ruen seized in December, rescuing all 17 hostages.

As a result of the heightened security concerns for merchant shipping, prices for private maritime security guards onboard have shot up this year, according to a recent analysis from sister title Splash Extra with many ex-soldiers looking to get in on the action.


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