Crew of Spanish fishing boat kidnapped by pirates in the Horn of Africa
‘We can’t speak now, please do not call us, we are being controlled’ – these are the words of one of the 26 fishermen aboard the Basque fishing boat, Playa de Bakio, following the attack by pirates in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia which has resulted in the kidnap of all its crew. The man who spoke to Spanish radios station Cadena Ser by telephone from the boat pleaded four times in a 12 second conversation that nobody try to make contact with the kidnappers. He also said that none of the hostages were injured, something which contradicts information released by the kidnappers which said that there were several injured crew members aboard the boat.
The crew of the Basque Fishing boat, from a small fishing town called Bermeo in Vizcaya, is made up of 8 Galicians, 5 Basques and 3 Africans. The first person to raise the alarm this morning was the ships owner who spoke to Spanish National Radio at 3.
45 am today saying that ‘everybody was fine and that there were no problems at that moment’.
According to a source connected to the kidnappers the boat is currently heading towards the small town of Gaan around 50 kilometres to the south of Obbia. Spanish military sources have confirmed that a frigate that was in the Red Sea is now on its way to the area. There have been several attacks by pirates in the Indian Ocean over recent years. There was an attack on a cruise ship on 4th April this year in which all the crew were taken hostage. The 30 crew members were released after a week following payment of a ransom fee. Action taken by the French special forces led to the detention of 6 of the pirates.
The latest attack on the Basque fishing vessel appears to be another in the long list of incidents in this particular area in which 31 attacks were registered last year by the International Maritime Bureau.