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Clipper Ventures

Yacht arms with Yemeni 'Ship-Riders' for Pirate Zone

by Sail-World on 30 Dec 2008
Pirates fleeing August 08 Gulf of Aden SW
From the murky seas of the Gulf of Aden news about the piracy crisis slips out by newswire, report, gossip, rumour and whisper. On the 17th December, word was out on the mainland of Somalia that a yacht had been attacked by the heroes of the pirate towns of Somalia, those ever more audacious pirates who bring home riches from the sea.

However, the assumed truth is now at hand, and that truth is more amazing than a story of hijack and kidnap. Cruising yachts are beginning to use contracted Yemeni coastguard officers as armed ship-riders to get their yachts through the pirate zone corridor.

According to normally reliable sources in direct contact with Sail-World Cruising it is now clear that the Yacht attacked by pirates on 17th December had Yemeni coastguard officers contracted as ship-riders, who opened fire on an approaching skiff after radio-warnings to keep clear were not adhered to. The skiff had maintained collision course even after course adjustments of the Yacht.

The skiff turned away after several shots were fired and didn't return.

The yacht proceeded towards the east, and dropped the guards at a Yemen border-port. It then sailed undisturbed to the Port of Salalah in Oman. Past Salalah the ocean is generally accepted to be free of pirates.

In news of other hostage ships, negotiations talks for the release of two Turkish ships MV Neslihan and MT Karagöl taken hostage in the Gulf of Aden has concluded and now debates continue on how the ransom will be delivered.

If an agreement is reached, the 34 crew members of the ill-fated vessels will be set free in January next year. All 34 crew men are said to be in good health and high spirits.

It has been made known that the two ships have been brought to the Eyl port and ransom bargaining has come to an end, while now delivery methods are being deliberated.

There are two methods which have been approved by the pirates. The gunmen are demanding the money be dropped by air from a helicopter or plane in a balloon that will not sink, or for the ransom to be delivered by ship. At the moment the delivery from the air is the most probable method to be used.

Currently Somali pirates are holding captive three Turkish Ocean-going vessels.
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