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Vessel crew unhurt

Vessel crew unhurt
The Amsterdam-based tanker operator Seaarland said on Friday that a pirate attack on one of its vessels had been foiled.

The Amsterdam-based tanker operator Seaarland said on Friday that a pirate attack on one of its vessels had been foiled.

The Amsterdam-based tanker operator Seaarland said on Friday that a pirate attack on one of its vessels had been foiled.

The company said the 74,000 deadweight tonne (dwt) Liberian-flag panamax tanker Lia, had escaped thanks to swift action of EURONAVFOR warships.

It said the vessel's crew were unhurt and that the ship was proceeding on its voyage carrying naphtha from Europe to China.

?The vessel arrived at the meeting point in the Gulf of Aden and, as per company policy, awaited a naval escort to assist the vessel in the transit of the Gulf of Aden,? said the statement.

The vessel was given a military escort by a Chinese warship but on Tuesday (February 24) an engine failure forced the ship to stop.

Shortly afterwards the officer of the watch detected on radar ?two high-speed craft approaching the vessel and closing in dangerously.?

The statement continued: ?The Master asked the Chinese warship for immediate helicopter assistance, which arrived on the scene within minutes. The helicopter positioned itself over the craft and the craft then ceased their approach to the Lia.?

Last year Seaarland announced that it would route all its owned and chartered ships via the Cape of Good Hope unless a military escort through the Gulf of Aden was available.

Antonio Zacchello, managing director of Seaarland, said, ?Until the international community acts to suppress this piracy menace, the safest thing we can do is stay out of the area or use the military escorts, even if it means waiting.?

EURONAVFOR is an international force helping combat piracy off the Horn of Africa.

www.TurkishMaritime.com.tr

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