22/05/08 (B448) The Indu (Indes) / Le navire piraté est-il ancré devant les côtes somaliennes ? Hijacked ship anchored off Somali coast? (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

MUMBAI: The fate of the 21-member crew, including 10 Indians, of the hijacked Jordanian-flag cargo ship, m.v. Victoria, is unknown though the vessel is believed to be anchored near Hobiyo, north east of Elmaan, Somalia.

According to information received by the Directorate-General of Shipping (DGS) here on Tuesday, the ship is anchored 1.5 nautical miles from the Somali coast.

It had left the Mumbai port over a fortnight ago with a cargo of 4,200 tonnes of sugar and was headed for the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Heavily armed pirates hijacked it on Sunday last when it was about 55 km off the coast.

The DGS said that the Indian Coast Guard’s Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre had contacted the search and rescue agencies in Yemen, Seychelles and Norway to help locate the ship. A source close to the Navy said that its destroyer INS Delhi was designated as the lead ship in the event of an intervention becoming necessary to free the crew. But this could not be confirmed.