The last remaining Somali pirate-held vessel was on the move this weekend and is now anchored just off the coast of Somalia, according to the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia.
On Saturday July 27, an EU Naval Force helicopter confirmed that the pirate controlled F/V Naham 3 had become detached from the sunken M/V Albedo and was steaming north along the Somali coast under her own power. Latest photographs of the vessel have confirmed that F/V Naham 3 is being held at anchor close to the coast in the Galmudug region, EU NAVFOR reports.
The Naham 3 had been tethered to M/V Albedo for several months, even after the Albedo sank in shallow water on Sunday July 7. It is believed that Albedo crew are being held onboard the Naham 3, probably along with others, however EU NAVFOR has not been able to confirm the whereabouts of the hostages as of yet.
The Naham 3 was pirated in the Indian Ocean on March 26, 2012 with a crew of 28. The M/V Albedo was hijacked in November 2010 and has 15 remaining crew. Reports in the media following her sinking indicated that four of those are believed to have been killed when she sank.
Recent aerial photographs have shown pirates wielding their weapons on the upper deck of the Naham 3.
EU NAVFOR reports that it is understood that negotiations are on-going between a hostage support program and the pirates in an attempt to secure the safe release of the hostages.
Data from EU NAVFOR shows that the F/V Naham 3 is the last vessel that remains under the control of Somali pirates. The pirates are still holding a total of 54 hostages, the data shows.