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Some gruesome details of Greek tanker Energy Centurion hijack became known to Maritime Bulletin. The 23 Russians crew say they owe their lives to the Greek Captain of the tanker, Capt. Tosios Anastasios (the name may be misspelled), who saved them at least twice. The tanker was boarded by pirates and was already under pirates control, when the Togo Navy or Coast Guard boat closed the tanker to “assist”, and opened fire on the vessel. Pirates lined up the crew along the side of the vessel as a live shield, but it didn’t stop Togo military, they kept firing as enthusiastically, as pirates returned the fire. Seamen fell on the deck and thought that was it, the end. Captain was on the bridge and commanded Full Ahead, on a max speed tanker managed to disengage from “friendly forces” and flee away. What followed next is not clear yet, it seems like pirates figured out they’ve been spotted and followed by the Navies (French), and left the tanker after stealing some quantity of cargo – it is officially reported they managed to steal 3,000 tons of gasoil cargo, but I was said they stole some 6,000 tons. Anyway, there was another mob to take the place of the initial kidnappers, and Captain, again, managed to flee at a time when one mob left the vessel, and another one was preparing to board.
To thank the Captain for fleeing the Togo Navy boat, pirates lined up the crew and in front of the crew forced the Captain to take all his clothes off, leaving him naked. Then they heavily beat him and kept him on the bridge during all the captivity. One of the Russian crew, a cadet, was wounded by the fire in the leg. While preparing for a possible Navy storm of the vessel, pirates took two crew as the first victims to be killed in sight of Navy, as a warning. Pirates behaviour towards the crew was not just cruel, but sadistically, unnecessary cruel, with apparent absolute disregard for a human life. They’d gladly kill all the crew just for the fun of it, if it wouldn’t hamper the stealing process.
Now the question to the Maritime Organizations, and first of all, to International Maritime Bureau, the world-known piracy “watchdog” – why don’t you make such facts known to the public? The seafarers working on the vessels which ply the waters of Gulf of Guinea (and some other African regions, too) not just have a right to know what to expect, they must know the facts, either to leave the vessel, or demand from owners to provide the vessel with guaranteed security.
September 3, 2012
Energy Centurion hijack news:
Pirates left Greek tanker Energy Centurion
Crew of the hijacked tanker Energy Centurion under threat of French, US and Nigerian Navies
Greek tanker Energy Centurion with Russian crew hijacked by pirates in Gulf of Guinea