The Malaysian-flagged MV Albedo, hijacked by Somali pirates in 2010 and held at an anchorage close to the Somali Coast, has sunk in rough seas, the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) confirmed Monday.
An update Tuesday from EU NAVFOR said that the 15 crew members still held hostage remain unaccounted for.
The MV Albedo has been held by pirates since it was attacked in the Indian Ocean in November 2010, and was in pirate hands when it sank.
An EU Naval Force warship and Maritime Patrol Aircraft have closed the area around the vessel and are carrying out a Search and Rescue operation to search for any survivors.
Reuters reported Monday that least four crew members and seven Somali pirates died when the vessel sank, and 13 others were missing.
“The ship has been gradually sinking for almost a week, but it sank totally last night,” a pirate with the gang said on Monday via telephone, the Reuters report said.
“We have confirmed that four foreign (crew) and seven pirates died. We are missing 13 in total,” the pirate added, who gave his name as Hussein. “We had no boats to save them.”
The vessel had a crew of 23 when it was hijacked early on November 26, 2010 about 900 nautical miles east of Mogadishu, Somalia.