EU Australia Online - News & information from the capital of Europe direct to Australian businesses

Pirates seize French Yacht off Somali Coast

  • April 5th, 2008
  • Posted by Emma Cillekens

le_ponant_photo.jpgNo, it’s not a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean; this act of piracy was for real!

Yesterday pirates took control of the 88-meter French yacht, La Ponant in the Gulf of Aden.

Thirty crew were taken captive, but according to representatives of the vessel, no passengers were on board.

The French Government says it’s launched a piracy alert plan, mobilising all resources in the area.

“The Defense and Foreign Ministries are mobilised to act as quickly as possible, I hope in the coming minutes or hours to try to win the freedom of these hostages,” said the French Prime Minister Francois Fillon.

“This is a blatant act of piracy.”

His Defence Minister, Herve Morin was tight lipped about the situation on France Inter radio, just saying that no ransom had been demanded.

“We have had no contact, neither with the crew of the boat nor with the pirates,” he said.

“What normally happens is that the pirates head for territorial Somali waters and it’s sometimes after they do that when specific demands are made, which often come in the form of ransoms.”

According to the International Maritime Bureau there were over 30 acts of piracy off the Somali coast last year.

Last August Denmark’s government paid a ransom to release the crew of a Danish cargo ship that was hijacked by Somali pirates after two months of captivity.

Reference:

BBC. “Somali pirates seize French yacht”. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7331290.stm. 4.4.08

CNN. “Pirates seize French yacht”
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/04/04/cruiseship.pirates.ap/index.html. 4.4.08

Reuters. “Pirates seize French yacht and 30 crew off Somalia” http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L04905753.htm. 4.4.08

International Martimime Bureau. “Piracy Alerts” http://www.icc-ccs.org/main/all_piracy_al.php. 4.4.08

Picture:

La Ponant,    http://www.croisiere.net/images/armateur/compagnie-iles-ponant_croisiere/le_ponant_photo.jpg

Leave a Reply