x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Hijacked crew on way to Sharjah

Emergency supplies provided after 11 dhow sailors escape pirates.

The Omani coastguard yesterday provided emergency supplies to the crew of a Dubai-registered dhow hijacked for two days by Somali pirates. The MSV Al Kaderi and its 11-man crew were left with little food or water and were running low on fuel but were otherwise safe when the rescue vessel reached them about 3.30pm, officials said.

The Omani coastguard said the green-and-white 500-tonne ship was heading to Sharjah and could arrive as early as today. "Al Kaderi was found in Omani waters and we helped them with food and water supplies," said a duty officer from the Omani coastguard, who did not give his name. "All the crew are OK and they are now on their way to Sharjah." Pirates in three fast-moving skiffs seized control of the dhow as it travelled near the port of Hobyo, Somalia, on March 28, then forced the captain to guide the boat through the Gulf of Aden while the raiders looked for large container ships to attack.

After two days of fruitless searching, the gang stole the vessel's communications and navigation equipment and left to restock their food and water supplies. The dhow sailors fled and spent four days motoring along the coast using only one engine. The Al Kaderi was one of eight dhows belonging to UAE-based owners that were hijacked during a six-day period last week. The triggered an embargo from Dubai on southern Somali ports.

Meanwhile, a 300,000-tonne South Korean tanker on its way from Iraq to the US was captured by Somali pirates yesterday. * The National