Somali pirates are having more fun than Captain Jack Sparrow this week, with news in that more ships have been taken hostage.
Depending on which report you read, the latest haul is either a Greek bulk carrier or a Thai fishing boat, but definitely both in short succession. The latest hijackings follow on from the incredible seizure of the Saudi super-tanker the Sirius Star, the worlds largest ship that was carrying $US100 million worth of crude oil, or roughly one quarter of the entire daily output of oil from Saudi Arabia.
Somali pirates have attacked 95 ships this year, and hijacked 39. 17 vessels remain under pirate control, along with 300 crew.
The surprising aspect of the growing number of hijackings is that there is an international defense task force in the region that is suppose to be defending shipping. Countries with naval assets in the area to prevent piracy include Canada, The Netherlands, Italy, India, Russia, Germany, Spain, Denmark Greece and Malaysia. The United States presence includes the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Ramage and the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Bunker Hill.
Somali Pirates 39: International Naval Defense Taskforce 0.
UPDATE: 3 hours after writing this post, ANOTHER ship has been captured, this time a Hong Kong cargo ship loaded with wheat bound for Iran. Details here.
Here’s a report from Reuters on the latest hijack: