Commercial ship ‘hijacked by pirates’ as warships scrambled to rescue crew

A commercial ship has reportedly been hijacked and is on its way to Somalia, according to the UK’s Marine Trade Operations.

The EU’s counter Somali Piracy Force has said warships from Spain have been scrambled to investigate the reported hijacking of the European Naval Force Operation Atalanta flagship Victoria.

According to reports, the crew of the Victoria no longer has control of the hijacked ship – but all on board are safe.

The EU’s counterforce said in a statement: “Based on first information available on MV Ruen, the EUNAVFOR Operation ATALANTA flagship Spanish Ship Victoria is proceeding fast towards the alleged pirate-hijacked vessel to gain more awareness and evaluate following actions”

The ship is around 680 nautical miles east of Bosaso, Somalia. 

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The EU’s counter piracy force is working with the wider international Combined Maritime Force.

The Victoria has a maximum speed of 29 knots, or around 33mph, and can carry up to 233 sailors, including 13 officers –  but it is unknown how many people are onboard.

Operation Atalanta is counter-piracy military operation working off the Horn of Africa that aims to protect Somalia-bound commercial ship.

The operation also protect ships of the World Food Programme and the African Union’s peacekeeping mission in Somalia.  

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