An Ethiopian cargo vessel was attacked by Somali pirates near the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) in the Gulf of Eden. The Somali pirates launched the strike using rocket-propelled grenades which hit a crane on the deck of the ship. None of the crew was inured.
The crew increased the speed of the ship and adopted anti-piracy measures to evade the attack. The pirates then tried to hijack the ship,but failed. The Ethiopian ship is now sailing towards India.
Captain DK Singh, marine consultant and member of Forward Seamens Union of India (FSUI), said: “The use of modern firing equipment made the situation worse for merchant ships passing through this region. Deployment of navy of 28 countries in the IRTC region has also made it difficult for pirates to launch an attack on a merchant ship. So they are now focusing more on region close to India.”
In the last one month, there have been around 15 attacks on merchant ships. In one of most major attacks, a United Arab Emirates (UAE) oil tanker MV Jubaa XX was attacked on July 16 and then hijacked. The tanker was carrying oil worth millions of dollars. Out of the 16 crew members onboard MV Jubaa XX,five are Indians, three are Bangladeshi nationals, one Sudanese national, Myanmarese, a Kenyan and four are Somalis.