The Somali pirates have really pulled one off this time — they’ve hijacked a supertanker full of oil. And, as poetic justice, it’s owned by the Saudis:
Supertanker Loaded With Oil Hijacked
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Somali pirates hijacked a supertanker off the Kenyan coast, seizing the Saudi-owned ship loaded with crude and its 25-member crew, the U.S. navy said Monday.
Lt. Nathan Christensen, a spokesman for the U.S. navy’s 5th Fleet, said the pirates hijacked the Sirius Star — a newly commissioned ship owned by Saudi oil company Aramco — 830 kilometres southeast of Mombasa, Kenya.
He said the pirates were taking the ship to a Somali port of Eyl where hijacked vessels are often held.
Somali pirates have seized several ships off the Horn of Africa coast in the past week, but the latest hijacking — of a tanker the size of an aircraft carrier — marked a dramatic escalation.
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The 330-metre tanker seized Saturday can carry about two million barrels of oil.
Christensen said the Sirius Star was carrying crude at the time of hijacking, but he did know how much. He also had no details about where the ship was sailing from and where it was headed.
The ship was sailing under a Liberian flag. The crew includes citizens of Croatia, Britain, the Philippines, Poland and Saudi Arabia.
Calls went unanswered at Vela International, the Dubai-based marine company that operated the ship for Aramco.
As pirates have become better armed and equipped, they have sailed farther out to sea in search of bigger targets, including oil tankers.
Previous posts about the Somali pirates:
Hat tip: JD.