The ship had a 23-member crew, including six Indians besides those from Italy and Ukraine. The 56,000-tonne bulk carrier 'Montecristo' was hijacked 620 miles off Somalia yesterday by five pirates in a small boat, according to the owners.
According to the Italian-based firm which manages the ship, Dalmare Spa, the vessel was carrying a consignment of iron materials.
The Italian defence minister said the crew aboard the D'Alessio Group-owned cargo ship were doing well. The ship had set off from the port of Liverpool and was understood to be en route to Vietnam.
Media reports said that as soon as the Italian ship left the escort of a Japanese naval vessel and entered the Indian Ocean it came under attack from the pirates.