Basque tuna hauler escapes pirate attack in Indian Ocean..

Halkaan ka akhri

According to Basque radio station Radio Euskadi, the crew on the Basque FV Txori-Argi manage d to avoid the attempted abduction at around 10h00 on Sunday. There was a shooting but no one was injured.

The Basque fishing boat, a purse-seiner owned by the shipping company Inpesca S.A. from Bermeo (Biscay), escaped from an alleged hijacking attempt in the Indian Ocean about 80 miles off the north of Seychelles.

Private security guards aboard the Spanish tuna fishing vessel repelled the attack from assumed pirates in the Indian Ocean, the boat’s captain said.

Captain Santi Gamboa described on Spanish national radio how the crew of the boat, the Txori Argi, had seen several skiffs heading towards them from a mother ship.

“We fired several warning shots and they turned around,” he said. The boat had four private security guards onboard, he said. “We are fine,” he said of the crew of 30, according to AFP.

The reported attack has not yet been officially confirmed by the naval forces in the area.

Last year another Spanish tuna fishing vessel, the Alakrana, and its crew of 36 was taken hostage for more than a month off the coast of Somalia, where pirates have bases.

They were freed after paying a ransom of four million dollars, according to the Somali pirates who had captured them.

Spanish boats do not carry soldiers when they travel through the dangerous area, unlike French vessels who are protected by French Marines.

But Madrid allows private security guards to carry weapons on the vessels to protect the boats.

The Spanish owner of Kenya-flagged tuna long-liner FV SABOKA, which is presently held at the Central Somali coast, arrived in Kenya and had reportedly now contact with the crew.

Foreign fishing vessels are the prime target of the Somali sea-wolves, but often internationally organized crime syndicates from Somalia and abroad have managed to abduct merchant vessels for ransom.

Source: Ecoterra

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