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Shipping firms divert tankers over piracy fears

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Shipping firms divert tankers over piracy fears


Days after what has been billed as the World’s biggest maritime hijacking, it has been revealed that shipping companies are beginning to divert their fleets to avoid pirates operating off Somalia.

Fleets are increasingly being diverted via the Cape of Good Hope, avoiding Suez and the Gulf of Aden, according to industry expert Jim Wilson.

He said: “In terms of solving piracy, the solution is not afloat. There aren’t enough warships in the world to protect shipping in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Africa. The solution has to come from a political settlement on land, in Somalia, between the warring parties. Without that peace there will always be trouble at sea.”

The Sirius Star – carrying enough oil to keep France supplied for an entire day – is now moored off a port in Somalia. Her crew of 25, which includes two Britons, is said to be well.

Somalia’s Prime Minister says he needs more help from the international community: “I think this is linked with some other organisations. I don’t think this is purely Somali piracy.”

The pirates’ brazen activity continues despite the presence of warships belonging to NATO and the EU. A Hong Kong flagged ship loaded with grain and bound for Iran was taken in the Gulf of Aden on Tuesday, and is said to be heading for Somalia.

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