April 11th, 2010
12:53 PM ET

Cargo ship hijacked near Somalia

A St. Vincent and the Grenadines-flagged cargo ship was hijacked Sunday morning in the Indian Ocean near Somalia, the European Union Naval Force said.

The MV Rak Afrikana cargo ship was taken approximately 280 nautical miles (322 miles) West of the Seychelles. The waters near Somalia are hotbed of piracy.

The naval forces sent the ITS Scirocco to the investigate, EU NAVFOR said.

The Rak Afrikana had been reporting engine problems and was stopped, the naval forces said.

The size and nationality of the crew was not immediately known.

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Filed under: Somalia • World
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Joe Smo

    How many times have pirates attacked a military ship? 7 or 8? This is crazy. I think that a few of our allies would join a very small and cheap
    coalition to sail a small fleet of small, repossesed or old auctioned
    ships , retro fitted with inconspicuous observation points on each of
    the four sides. If we want to allow the pirates to climb all the way
    over the side of this undercover Army boat, the deck could be charged
    with electricity to shock the pirates, or I've read about net devices or
    foam. A submarine or destroyer could be in the proximity, but you
    probably wouldn't need that. Maybe to catch the pirates mother boat.

    The 50,000 trips a year in these waters divided by the days of the year 365, = 138 trips
    a day. I think we could easily patrol 5% of this a day with these
    undercover ships, as we already patrol with multi billion dollar
    Battleships and Destroyers. I don't think the people who man these ships
    would even have to be as trained as a Soldier. Their job is very
    specific. And to cut down on cost, and increase efficacy, we should have
    a coalition.

    This solution acts to collect up pirates eventually will be a deterant.

    There are 3 dozen warships in the area right now.

    April 11, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. desert voice

    These pirates must have been reading too much of Don Quixote de la Mancha. They charge those military warships with rubber boats as if they were windmills. This doesn't make sense. That phenomena as these still exist in the XXI century is both amusing and inexplicable. I believe that the pirates were emboldened by many cowardly maritime companies, which told their captains to run and hide! This was a wrong message which these ragamuffins took as a sign of weakness.

    April 11, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. barefootpoet

    The authorities over these areas (open seas) should allow these vessels to arm themselves in order to prevent these lowlife scumbags from siezing their ship and taking them hostage, or worse. The more vessels taken by force, the more confident these pirates become. If any vessel approaches without identifying themselves for whatever reason, blow it to hell and back before it gets close. The people on these vessels being highjacked deserve the right to defend themselves from being taken or killed. These pirates are thugs, and should be treated as such. Death is the only deterrent.

    April 11, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Becca

    The U.S SHip had no business being there at all I feel. I do not care who they were taking stuff to. We have such needs in our own country and we had better start to take care of our own! WE are spending so much money to free these ships and their crew that this money could be better used in the U.S. So bottom line is we need to stay where we belong and this stuff would not happen.

    April 11, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ropedope

    I haven't heard where there are any air patrols over this area to assist in stopping the pirates.
    Some of you may have heard of "Operation Market Time" which was very effective in nearly stopping on seaborne infiltration of goods, services and people into Vietnam during that war. Part of that "net" was air surveilance in combination with navel vessels both close to shore and at sea in pickets if you will. Very effective. Might have to move the net closer to Somalia still in international waqters and begin intercepting and searching vessels coming out of ports in Somalia for weapons and other pirate stuff. It appears to me that it might be effective here is the aim is to stop this priracy.

    April 11, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Echo1

    Why are we releasing pirates when we capture them? They are not fictitious Disn@y characters searching for the gold! As I have said before, I have the solution to these primative peoples and their swashbuckling lifestyle. As far as I remember, they have an explosive fuel ship that was intended for the U.S... since they are threatening our National Security (my ability to drive/fly to Vegas and see Wayne Newton) (is he still alive?)... then we should allow them to drag all the little rubber duckies they collect out at see and drag it right up their port. When we say we've had enough, we just shoot a missle right up their harbor! I can hear Greenpeace, the UN, etc... whine about the innocent. Well, collateral damage is not friendly but effective when you need to get a point across! Those who live in the area are just as guilty by not speaking out against piracy and living off the profits that trade with the stands selling confiscated/stolen goods, etc...

    April 11, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    That's the guys they released last week no doubt. What was the US thinking in that move?

    April 11, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kristen

    Isn't there another way to go to avoid Somalian waters...oh yes there is, AROUND Africa.

    April 11, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Pete

    It seems to me a few undercover shipsdisguized as Cargo & Predator aerial suvielnce armed with missiles coud take out most of pirates before they get close enough to Climb aboard ship/

    April 11, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. brad1001

    Just sink their ships out from under them. If they've not learned to swim, it would be a fine time to learn.

    April 11, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Roger

    I really don't understand why these ships are not organized into convoys with military escorts. A couple destroyers should easily be able to protect a large convoy.

    April 11, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. fatima

    well maybe if u DIDN'T GO NEAR THIER WATERS!!!!!! its that simple dont go near them they dont hijack your boats ever thought of that

    April 11, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Noor Fayrus

    Addressing the issue of Piracy around the Horn of Africa is a much deeper issue than deploying patrolling armadas to protect merchant mariners. The coastal citizens of Puntland, NE Somali must first be compensated for the roughly US$5 billion in fish stocks stolen from them by the international community, and then a robust effort must be made to clean up the toxic and nuclear waste dumped around Somali shores by unprincipled multinational conglomerates. At that point these so-called Somali pirates might be able to go back to their livelihoods of fishing, and won't feel so insulted about how they have been exploited for the past 20 years. But you will not hear any of this in the western news media. I recommend reading the book 'The Somali Pirate' to get the bigger picture.

    April 11, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mark

    Putting weapons on civilian ships opens up another whole set of problems. A much easier and probably more effective response would be one aircraft carrier! Combat air patrols could easily cover the entire region. After blowing a couple of pirate boats out of the water the rest would probably get the hint. If not the pilots just get some more target practice.

    April 11, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Terry W. Brookman

    They are starving, what would you do? I know it is their fault they once had a prospers and educated nation then they kicked out the white people. There has been war there ever since. Too bad!

    April 11, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
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