A few days back I mentioned that Jon Bowermaster was posting dispatches from the Pirate Coast, just off Somalia. A friend of Jon’s named Dennis Cornejo is currently aboard a passenger vessel that is en route from Tanzania to Egypt, and according to today’s update, has just entered the very dangerous waters.
Dennis reports that the ship is now three days out from Dar es Salaam, and until now they haven’t seen a single vessel. But today they encountered two freighters, both adrift at sea. He learns that one of the ships is a Filipino vessel that has been held by the pirates since November and has just been released within the past few days. The ship is nearly out of fuel, and barely has enough power to maintain lights and radio. It is an ominous sign of the waters they are entering.
The details on what has happened to the freighter are a bit sketchy. It seems that the owner may have backed out of paying the pirates a $2.1 million ransom, and there is fear amongst the crew that the Somalis will be back to retake the ship. They have received aid from both German and American military ships, but the promised tanker that would come to refuel them has not arrived, leaving everyone on edge.
The dispatches are fascinating reads as we follow along, knowing the dangers, and waiting for the worst. Dennis says that they continue to do pirate drills aboard his ship, just in case they are attacked, but as readers, we won’t know what is happening if the dispatches stop coming. Lets hope that doesn’t happen.
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