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calendar   Monday - June 28, 2010

Maritime Messes

Somali Pirates Strike Yet Again

Pirates hijack ship full of anti-freeze




NAIROBI, Kenya—Somali pirates hijacked a Singaporean-flagged ship early Monday [3:27am Greenwich time] with 19 Chinese sailors onboard and a poisonous chemical used in antifreeze, officials said.

The Golden Blessing was seized off the northern tip of Somalia inside the internationally recommended transit corridor in the Gulf of Aden that is patrolled by the anti-piracy naval coalition, said Lt. Col. Per Klingvall, a spokesman for the European Union’s anti-piracy force.

All 19 crew are reported to be safe, he said. The ship was reported to be on its way from Saudi Arabia to India.

Klingvall said the 14,445-ton chemical tanker was carrying a cargo of glycol ethylene—which is used in antifreeze—when it was captured approximately 60 miles off the northern Somali coast. The vessel was moving toward the Somali coast after the hijacking.

The hijacked ship is owned by Golden Pacific International Holdings Ltd. and is chartered out to Shanghai Dingheng Shipping Co. Ltd.

In a statement, the Singapore Maritime and Port Authority said it “is working with relevant government agencies and the ship owner, and is monitoring the situation closely.”

The “Golden Blessing” was hijacked in the morning of June 28, 2010, approximately 60 nautical miles off the northern Somali coast. The EU NAVFOR German warship Schleswig-Holstein immediately launched their helicopter and reported sighting suspected pirates on board the vessel which was carrying a cargo of glycoethelen. The “Golden Blessing” has a crew of 19 Chinese; no reports of injuries. The vessel is under pirate control but remains unmoving at present.



MV Golden Blessing, IMO #9539016, also known as the Qian Jin 6, is a small tanker ship, 116m (LAW) by 17m. (139.3m LOA). From what I can gather, it’s a brand new vessel, having gone down the ways in China in early January. I can find the telephone number for the bridge and the ship’s email address, but this is the only pictures of the ship that I can dig up.

image

The rest of the world calls “glycol ethylene” ethylene glycol; it isn’t used in antifreeze, it is used AS antifreeze. Whatever.

image

In other pirate news, the audacity of some Nigerian pirates is amazing, yet can be bested by the hope of some crews. Talk about primitive; get a load of this one:

Twelve robbers in two speed boats attacked a bulk carrier at anchor. They fired with hand made guns and attempted to board the ship using hooks attached to ropes. Ship‘s crew raised alarm, directed search light and attacked the robbers with sling shot. Robbers fired several shots and finally aborted the attempt and moved away. One crew wounded but not serious.

Home made guns? What’s next, rocks?

image

Good news everyone!™ It looks like that little Ro-Ro ship full of suspicious military weapons that India seized the other day, you know, the story you didn’t hear about at all ...

The “Aegean Glory” was intercepted by security forces on June 25, 2010, in the Hooghly river channel near Diamond Harbor. It was carrying consignments of arms and ammunition for Nepal and the Pakistan Army and was destined for Karachi. It had departed Monrovia on May 27 and anchored at Port Lui in Mauritius onJune 4 June before coming to Chittagong port on June 15 June. It is now in Diamond Harbour under tight security. The military consignments were used by the UN peace-keeping force in Liberia. The 551-ton military cargo containing smoke bombs, anti-aircraft guns and rocket launchers, were loaded in Monrovia port. The ship would be brought to Kolkata Dock System where customs officials will open all the containers to carry out a thorough search. The 19 crew members from Romania, Greece and Ukraine and its Greek captain are being interrogated.

turned out to be Ok. It was actually chartered by the UN to return military gear to Pakistan. Why? Because the UN military mission to Liberia is complete, so they are sending the extra guns and bombs and stuff home to the countries that supplied them. Phew, I’m glad that got straightened out. Looks like the whole incident was a paperwork SNAFU.

The military hardware, with full knowledge of UN authorities, was being transported under their arrangements and not by Pakistan.

image

MV Aegean Glory




Um, did anyone even know that the UN had a military mission in Liberia? They went there in 2003 at the end of the Liberian civil war, when Liberian president Chuck Taylor, the only world leader ever named after a pair of sneakers, resigned.

Police earlier said the MV Aegean Glory, bound for Karachi, contained a “huge quantity” of explosives, rocket launchers, anti-aircraft guns and some bombs in two large containers.
...
The UN sent 15,000 troops into Liberia in 2003 after 14 years of civil war that claimed roughly 270,000 lives.

In April, the UN peacekeeping force in Liberia (UNMIL) began scaling back its presence after a UN and government assessment in 2007 that the country was gradually moving towards peace and stability.

I don’t know how many of those troops are our guys. Numbers run from 200 to 1200, the ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43) has been involved there, and that the military mission has shifted from training Liberia’s army and police force to building roads and buildings and feeding the hungry.

Draw down for the Liberian Mission should be just about complete by now, so hopefully that means more Marines coming home.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/28/2010 at 08:12 AM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
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