(EU NAVFOR RELEASES)
Late at night on Friday 6 August the MV SYRIA STAR requested medical assistance for two crewmembers that were injured in the initial hijack. The MV SYRIA STAR was hijacked on Thursday 5 August in the eastern part of Gulf of Aden and is now free. Initial reports are that the pirates left the ship of their own accord utilising one on the rescue boats.
EU NAVFOR warship FGS SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN was in the vicinity of the MV SYRIA STAR and sent her helicopter with a medical team onboard in order to assist the vessel. On arriving on the SYRIA STAR they found a third member of the crew who had been injured in a work related incident. FGS SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN is standing by to conduct a medical evacuation if required.EU NAVFOR Force Commander Rear Admiral Jan Thörnqvist said: ‘It is always good to hear a hijacked ship is free and now EU NAVFOR will give the injured crew members the medical assistance they require’.
During the afternoon of 5 Aug 2010, the MV SYRIA STAR reported that she was under attack from pirates who had climbed onboard and fired shots at the crew. Helicopters were immediately dispatched to the vessel and tried to establish communications with the SYRIA STAR, which had stopped in the water. They found an abandoned skiff nearby, containing fuel and ammunition. When warships arrived on the scene shortly after, the SYRIA STAR had reversed course and was heading South East back towards the Horn of Africa under the control of the pirates, who refused to respond to radio contact.
The SYRIA STAR was sailing west in the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor through the Gulf of Aden with a cargo of sugar. The SYRIA STAR, deadweight 18, 838 tonnes, is flagged to St Vincent and the Grenadines and has a predominantly Syrian crew, with 22 Syrians and 2 Egyptians.
EU NAVFOR is continuing to monitor the situation.
EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Program (WFP) and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and to protect vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, and to deter and disrupt piracy. EU NAVFOR also monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.