Danish flagged ship attacked by pirates off Somalia coast

A Danish flagged vessel was attacked by pirates on Saturday off Somalia’s coast.

This is the latest in a series of increased pirating activities in the region.

The vessel, MV Torm Kansas, laden with 35,000 tonnes of oil products was attacked by pirates while enroute from Sikka, India to Mossel Bay in South Africa.

The attack comes barely five days after two other vessels came under attack from pirates in the Indian ocean, according to a statement from counter-piracy NATO forces, sent to newsrooms Tuesday.

Reported incidents

Figures from the International Maritime Bureau indicate that as of October 22, this year, there have been eleven reported incidents of piracy off Somalia this year, including two hijackings.

Shipping stakeholders in the country say this indicates the piracy menace along the Gulf of Aden was far from being eliminated and shipping lines may not remove the levies introduced in 2009 because of piracy.

“The problem is that the threat is still there and shipping lines do not want to take a chance. They are still levying surcharges on freight rates to cater for security,” said Kenya Ships Agents Association Chief Executive, Mr Juma Tellah.

Risk area

In May 2008, the Gulf of Aden was classified as a war risk area by Lloyds Market Association Joint War Committee, a move that led shipping lines to introduce risk premiums.

The premiums have since increased 300 fold from $500 (Sh43, 500) per ship, per voyage; to up to $150,000 (Sh13,050,000) per ship, per voyage, in 2010.

The shipping lines also charge kidnap and ransom fees that cover the crew against ransom demands, but not the vessel or cargo. An insurance premium that covers goods transported along the Somali coast is also levied by the liners.

“Vigilance cannot be abandoned just because piracy seems to have fallen. The pirates can adapt and change their modus operandi,” said the Seafarers Union of Kenya Secretary General, Mr Andrew Mwangura.

Source: Stander Digital

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