Sunday, July 05, 2009
On board a German ship that was hijacked by Somali pirates in April have no more water, food or medicine, a German weekly reported. The 20,000-ton container vessel, Hansa Stavanger, was captured about 640 kilometers off the southern Somali port of Kismayu on April 4. "We just cannot carry on," the captain wrote in an e-mail to his wife on Friday, the first sign of life in over three weeks, Der Spiegel magazine reported. "We have no water, no food and no medicine," he wrote. The Hamburg shipping company Leonhardt & Blumberg that owns the Hansa Stavanger was not available to comment on the authenticity of the e-mails.
Hansa StavangerPiracy has flourished recently off the busy Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean shipping lanes and seaborne gangs have seized several cargo ships and collected tens of millions of dollars in ransom for the safe release of crews and cargoes. The captain of the Hansa Stavanger wrote in one e-mail that the pirates threatened to kill the crew. "They put tape over my eyes and dragged me onto the deck ... They shouted and sent bullets flying close next to my head." Five Germans, three Russians, two Ukrainians, and 14 Filippinos are believed to be on board the ship. A German Foreign Ministry spokesman said a crisis management team was working with Leonhardt & Blumberg on a solution.