It was an ironic start to 2010 declared by International Maritime Organisation as ‘Year of the Seafarer’ when pirates hijacked on January 1, Asian Glory a British ship with 5 Indians in its 25 member crew.
For the last 10 days, the crew and the ship, hijacked 600 nautical miles off the east coast of Somalia, continue to remain under the pirates’ command.
The acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships have jumped from 97 in the first quarter of 2009 to nearly 141 in the second quarter according to reports of the International Maritime Organisation.
Nautical Advisor to the Government of India , Ministry of Shipping, M.M.Saggi, told Hindustan Times from Mumbai, “The ship owners are negotiating with the pirates . We are hoping that these will bear fruitful result. We have heard no adverse news about the safety of the crew so we should hope for the best.”
“Enough is enough” said Abdul Ghani Serang general secretary of National Union of Seafarers of India told HT.
“We will agitate and stop working in all those ships which are trading in the pirate-infested Somalian waters,” Serang said. Hostage taking has become a “part of statistics” for governments across the world, he added.