Piracy – Pirates demanding USD 3 Million for vessel RIM – 04.02.2010

The US Navy has reported that North Korea flagged general cargo ship RIM was hijacked by pirates.

The 4,800 dwt vessel was taken in the Gulf of Aden to the north of the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor. It was not registered with MSC HOA. EUNAVFOR said that the US Navy Guided Missile Destroyer USS PORTER DDG 78 and a helicopter from the Guided Missile Destroyer USS FARRAGUT DDG 99 both deployed with NATO CTF 151, had confirmed the hijacking. RIM is now heading towards the Somali Basin.

At the time the vessel was enroute to Kandla, India from Mariupol, Ukraine with 17 crew members. Vessel was built in 1973 and she was the former Romanian vessel RIMNICU VILCEA (1973-1998).

Meanwhile on 2nd June around 1010 hrs LT the hijacked Libyan owned merchant vessel RIM reported that her crew had successfully retaken control of the ship, but that one of the crew members was seriously injured during the incident. EUNAVFOR press release said. The incident took place south east of Garacad, off Somalias northern coastline. The closest EUNAVFOR warship, the ESPS VICTORIA, was immediately tasked by the Force Commander Jan Thornqvist, to meet up with the ship in order give medical assistance of which ESPS VICTORIA launched her helicopter immediately.

Confusing reports that the ship had been pirated again came prior to the helicopter reaching the scene of the incident. It was quickly established that the crew were in control of the vessel. There were however, pirates in the vicinity who were attempting to impede the EUNAVFOR operation by utilizing another hijacked vessel the VOC DAISY. When ESPS VICTORIA’s helicopter approached the VOC DAISY she changed her course and no warning shots were fired.

It is believed that some of the pirates were killed during the incident, the ship is now under the control of the crew.

EU NAVFOR is monitoring the situation and more information will be released as it becomes available.

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