MV-Suez, the cargo ship which was released by Somali pirates along with its crew earlier in the week after 10 months in captivity, came under attack once again on Thursday.
The cargo ship was being escorted by Pakistani warship, PNS Babar(Type 21 frigate), and heading towards Oman when it was reportedly attacked by Somali pirates
A Pakistan Navy spokesperson told The Express Tribune that all reports of a navy vessel coming under attack were unconfirmed at this point.
He said that he can only say that navy ships are safe. The vessel had already come under attack on Wednesday, June 15, a day after pirates released the ship and its crew.
Wasi Hasan, MV Suez’s Pakistani captain said the crew may have to abandon the ship and hitch a ride with PNS Babar. “The boiler in the engine room is not working, so our speed has slowed down from 15 knots to 8 knots,” he said while talking to NDTV.
He also said that there is eight tons of diesel left on board, not enough to get Suez to the port of Salalah in Oman.
All crew is reported to be safe.
After its release from captivity, Suez was being escorted to safety byPNS Babar. Navy commandos were also on board the ship while a navy helicopter also flew over the ship to provide close air support.
The MV Suez, owned by an Egyptian company, had been first boarded by Somali pirates in August this year. Its crew of 22 was finally released on June 14, after payments of $2.1 million. Once the ship makes port, the crew, comprising four Pakistanis, six Indians, one Sri Lankan and 11 Egyptians will be able to fly back to their respective countries.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2011.