Saturday, April 08, 2017 -
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Apr 9 UPDATE: Pirates or whoever boarded the vessel, left OS 35 and fled, presumably after Chinese and Indian Navy approached vessel. Crew according to Indian Navy statement, retreated to citadel after activating alert system. When exactly hijackers fled the vessel, not clear. Indian Navy helicopter reconnaissance found vessel free of pirates, during understood, two flights, at night and at sunrise. So what happened exactly, what it was and who, is not clear. Understood nobody saw pirates besides crew, no reports on spotted somewhere nearby mother ship, either. Reports differ in details - some say Chinese team boarded the ship before crew left citadel, to make sure there are no pirates on board. Some say team boarded vessel after crew went out. But no report, so far, mentioned, that pirates and their mother ship, or skiff/skiffs, were spotted. 19 Filipino crew reported safe and unharmed. Understood photo taken from Indian helicopter:
Bulk carrier OS 35 unconfirmed hijacked (EU NAVFOR and Reuters citing Puntlend police) in Gulf of Aden in vicinity 14 03N 051 40E, in the afternoon Apr 8. it is not clear though what happened.
Vessel was en route from Port Klang to Aden Yemen, on April 1 she changed course and headed for Salalah Oman, at a reduced speed. She was brought t anchor off Salalah, resumed sailing on Apr 7. Vessel said to be boarded by a group of militants, she stopped northwest of Socotra's western tip, last AIS position dated 0200 UTC Apr 9 in 14 02N 051 40E, vessel dead in the water. AIS seems to be on. It may be not pirates, who took control of the vessel, but Yemeni rebels or whoever party fighting in there.
According to AIS, there were armed guards on board, one more riddle to the story. Taking it all, previous dhows and tanker hijacks, and this ongoing, it all still doesn' look like proven Somali piracy revival. OS 35, being Lebanon-owned, is least lucrative target.
Apr 9 2017
Bulk carrier OS 35, IMO 9172399, dwy 35362, built 1999, flag Tuvalu, manager OLDSTONE MANAGEMENT LTD, Lebanon.
P.S. If you later find anything from my comment, any facts or presumptions, in Maritime Herald, it means it was stolen from my report.