Rescue: Two British and one Irish crewman are plucked from the sea after jumping off an oil tanker to escape Somali pirates
Three British security guards escaped from armed Somali pirates yesterday by diving overboard from the chemical tanker they were protecting.
Helicopters sent to counter the pirate attack arrived after the bandits had taken control of the Liberian-flagged ship Biscaglia. Instead they airlifted the three unarmed guards to safety.
The crew, two British and one Irishman, were winched out of the sea by a helicopter and taken back to a warship patrolling the Gulf of Aden.
A diplomatic source in the Kenyan capital Nairobi said 25 Indian and two Bangladeshi crew members were still on board.
The Biscaglia is the 97th vessel to be attacked this year by the modern-day brigands who use AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades to plunder the seas.
Shipping companies are increasingly turning to security firms for protection or are sending their vessels by the longer route around the Cape of Good Hope.
Pirates are still holding a Saudi oil supertanker, with two British crew members, which they captured two weeks ago. They have given the owners of the Sirius Star until tomorrow to pay a £16million ransom.
Three crew men rescued by a German military helicopter board a helicopter to leave the French frigate Nivose for the British HMS Cumberland in the Gulf of Aden
Nick Davis, chief executive of Anti-Piracy Maritime Security Solutions, which employs former members of Britain’s armed forces, said he was still trying to find out more about the attack on the MV Biscaglia.
In a country where almost half the population needs food aid to survive, the multimillion dollar ransoms ensure a steady stream of young men are ready to sign up with the pirates.
The Biscaglia, a Liberia-flagged oil and chemical tanker ship is pictured after being hijacked in the Gulf of Aden