NAIROBI, Kenya – Somali pirates hijacked a chemical tanker with dozens of Indian crew members Friday and a helicopter rescued three British security guards who had jumped into the sea, officials said.
A warship on patrol nearby sent helicopters to intervene in the attack, but they arrived after pirates had taken control of the Liberian-flagged ship, according to Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Malaysia.
The ship master had sent a distress call to the piracy reporting center, which relayed the alert to international forces policing Somali waters, Choong said. No details about how the pirates attacked or the condition of the crew were available immediately.
Choong said the ship was being operated out of Singapore.
Still on board were 25 Indian and two Bangladeshi crew members, said diplomats who could not be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media. The British security guards escaped by jumping into the water, said a news release issued by their company, Anti-PiracyMaritime Security Solutions.
The company said it was aware of the incident on the chemical tanker it identified as M/V BISCAGLIA.
No mention of what kind of chemicals are on board.
Another multi-million dollar ship and cargo hijacked? Oh my! And still the ship owners haven't a clue about security. Hiring 3 guys who jump at the first sign of trouble is really penny wise and pound foolish. The Blackwater group would be a better choice. No sympathy for the cheap and clueless.
"...three British security guards who had jumped into the sea..."
Amid the chaos, the British guards were probably unable to conclusively determine the ethnicity of their assailants, so jumping into the sea obviously would have been the best option from a multicultural perspective.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
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