Greek tanker fights off pirates in Arabian Sea (Lead)December 1st, 2009 - 6:40 pm ICT by IANS
Athens, Dec 1 (DPA) Greek authorities said Tuesday that a Greek tanker carrying oil to China successfully fought off a pirate attack in the Arabian Sea.
The Ministry of Merchant Marine told DPA that the Greek-flagged vessel Sikinos, with a crew of 24, successfully fought off pirates after coming under gunfire 550 km southeast of Sudan.
Officials said the crew used water-hoses and flares to fight off the pirates and that the eight Greek and 16 Filipino seamen were unhurt.
The vessel, owned by Athens-based shipping company Cyclades Maritime, was continuing its course for China had set off from Sudan.
The attack occurred just days after pirates attacked a Greek tanker in the Indian Ocean with small arms, taking its crew hostage and directing the vessel towards Somalia.
Over the weekend, pirates chased the Greek-flagged tanker Maran Centaurus as it was en route to the United States and boarded the vessel 750 nautical miles north-east of the Seychelles.
The tanker, owned by Athens-based Kristan Navigation, was carrying a cargo of crude oil from Saudi Arabia.
None of the ship’s 28 crew members, which include nine Greeks, one Romanian, two Ukrainians and 16 Filipinos was hurt in the attack, officials from Kristan Navigation said.
“We have not heard from the pirates but only know that the crew is safe and are being led to the coast of Somalia,” said a company official, who asked not to be named.
Officials at the Ministry of Merchant Marine said the Greek frigate Adrias, part of an EU anti-piracy operation in the Indian Ocean, was alerted and shadowing the tanker.
Piracy is rife off the Horn of Africa nation of Somalia, which has not had an effective central government since 1991.
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Tags: arabian sea, centaurus, central government, crew members, cyclades, filipino seamen, filipinos, flagged vessel, frigate, greek authorities, gunfire, horn of africa, merchant marine, nautical miles north, pirate attack, saudi arabia, shipping company, sikinos, ukrainians, water hoses