Chinese Bulk Carrier Hijacked in Indian Ocean

October 2009

EU NAVFOR Somalia issued the following Press Release on 19 October 2009:  

Around noon local time, October 19th 2009 the Bulk Carrier DE XIN HAI from the Peoples Republic of China was hijacked in the Indian Ocean, 350 nautical miles North East of the Seychelles and 700 nautical miles off the East coast of Somalia.

On indication of an attack an EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft, operating from the Seychelles was launched to investigate the incident. The MPA located the ship and has reported that there are 4 pirates visible and 2 skiffs (small pirate craft) being towed by the ship

The bulk carrier was not registered with the Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa.

Adding these 25 hostages from the Bulk Carrier to the total number of personnel held by hostages, this makes 146 hostages in total held by criminals at the Somali Coastline. [Ends]

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With this attack 700 miles off the Somali coast and the recent attack on the "Kota Wajar" at 550 miles, owners and operators should be aware that pirates are now operating at an increased distance off the Somali coast.

As mentioned above, the "De Xin Hai" was not registered with the Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa (MSCHOA). Registration is highly recomended as MSCHOA can offer advice and guidance in the light of current intelligence about activity in the area where a vessel is due to transit.