Iran Denies Seizing Korean Ship and Holding Crew Hostage
By Sangmi Cha and Josh Smith SEOUL, Jan 5 (Reuters) – Iran denied on Tuesday it was using a South Korean ship and its crew as hostages, a day after...
Counter-piracy patrols with the EU Naval Force this week continued conducting sea and air searches in the vicinity of the sunken MV Albedo for any signs her missing crew, but at this point cannot confirm their whereabouts.
EUNAVFOR confirmed last week that the Malaysian-flagged MV Albedo, which has been held by pirates in an anchorage close to the Somali coast since November 2010, had sunk in rough seas.
So far there has been no official confirmation concerning the fate of the Albedo’s 15 crewmembers, at least not from EUNAVFOR.
However, a report by Reuters said that four crewmembers were killed when the vessel sank and a report later from the Secretariat for Regional Maritime Security indicated that 11 crewmembers were still alive and being held on the pirated fishing vessel, FV Naham 3. Days after the sinking, an EUNAVFOR patrol spotted two of the Albedo’s life boats on a beach just north of the sunken ship, but no members of the MV Albedo crew or pirates were sighted.
On Wednesday, a helicopter from an EU Naval Force warship overflew the MV Albedo and the FV Naham 3, which is tied to the Albedo’s superstructure by ropes. The FV Naham 3 was pirated on March 26, 2012 with 28 hostages.
The EU Naval Force helicopter was able to confirm that FV Naham 3 remains under the control of pirates, with aerial photographs showing armed men on the upper deck. EUNAVFOR said that there have been no sightings of the MV Albedo crew, or any hostages for that matter, so they cannot confirm the missing crew’s whereabouts at this time.
EUNAVFOR did say that it understands that negotiations are on-going between a hostage support program and the pirates to try and secure the safe release of the hostages. Here are some photos from the overflight.
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