The Marine Rescue and Coordination Centre (MRCC) in the Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG) has announced that a Spanish purse seiner, the Alakrana, has been hijacked by pirates 400 nautical miles northwest of Mahé. The incident occurred outside Seychelles Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The vessel had transited through Port Victoria two days earlier.
The SCG has also been informed that one of the crew members is a Seychellois named Wilson Pilate of Union Vale. The Ministry of Community Development, Culture, Youth and Sport is tasked with family support, and in the absence of Minister Vincent Meriton, Minister MacSuzy Mondon has contacted the family.
A total number of 36 crewmen were reported to be aboard, the majority being of Spanish nationality. Other nationalities on board include Malagasy, Senegalese, Ivorian and Indonesian men.
The High Level Committee responsible for Piracy are in contact with the vessel owners and have already established contact with other anti-piracy forces in the region for a response to the incident. The NATO surveillance aircraft stationed in Seychelles has already mobilized since this morning and has now a confirmed sighting of the vessel.
The Somali pirates have benefitted from calmer sea conditions with the rough South East Monsoon ending two weeks ago. European fishing fleets need the protection of their country’s naval forces now more than ever before because the calmer seas will enable the Somali pirates to move further off the long Somali coast.