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Maritime Security

BRITISH FORCES FREE ITALIAN CARGO SHIP MONTECRISTO HIJACKED OF THE COAST OF SOMALIA.

The Italian cargo ship Montecristo was seized 1000 kilometers from Somalia’s coast on Monday 10th October.  The Montecristo is a 56,000ton bulk carrier owned by D’Alessio Group.  The ship, which was carrying scrap metal, was hijacked during its journey from Liverpool to Vietnam.

The ship was seized by a group of 11 Somali pirates.  The pirates threw their weapons into the sea as the rescue teams closed in and surrendered.

Today a team of both U.S and British Special Forces freed the ship.  The rescue operation overseen by an Italian Admiral Gualtiero Mattesi, Commander of NATO’s anti piracy initiative ‘Operation Shield’.

The ship’s crew managed to seal themselves in a strong room where they could control the engine and steer the ship towards the International Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC), which is patrolled by anti piracy forces.  The pirates had destroyed the ship’s communications equipment.

Many ships already carry security however not all of these are armed.  It has shown even with increased security measures that Somali pirates do not back down against unarmed ships reeling in hundreds of millions of pounds.

Pirates are hijacking ships further away from Somalia using ‘mother ships’ to launch their smaller attack skiffs.

The Italian ship-owners association has confirmed that in the near future Italian military forces will be stationed on all Italian merchant ships to protect against further pirate attacks.