An Italian-owned cargo ship with 18 crew on board has become the latest vessel to be hijacked.
The Enrico Ievoli was carrying a shipment of caustic soda from the United Arab Emirates to the Mediterranean when it was seized off the coast of Oman in an area notorious for attacks by Somali pirates.
Vincenzo Musumeci, the son of the ship’s captain appealed to everyone not to ignore the plight of his father and the crew and urged authorities to act quickly to bring them home. He said it was the second time the ship had been attacked. “The first time it was successfully foiled but not this time,” Musumeci said.
According to the International Maritime Bureau, there have been 352 reported hijackings worldwide between January and September this year – more than half of which were carried out by Somali pirates.
The European Union set up an anti-piracy mission known as NAVFOR in 2008. It regularly patrols the seas, protecting shipping from attacks. But despite its brief, Somali pirates have taken more than 2,300 crew members hostage, demanding vast ransoms in return for their release.