Suspected first Somali pirate hijacking since 2012

News breaking off the Horn of Africa will send shockwaves across the world’s seafaring community. It looks likely Somali pirates have made their first hijacking of a commercial vessel crew since 2012.

Unconfirmed reports suggest a Sri Lankan bunker vessel was apprehended by two skiffs off Puntland yesterday. A distress call was sent from the Dubai-owned Aris 13, and a little later its AIS was switched off and the ship – with its eight crew – altered course for the Somali coast.

Aircraft from regional naval force EU Navfor have been scrambled to try and track down the vessel.

At their height – back in 2011 – Somali pirates launched 237 attacks and took hundreds of seafarers hostage.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Unconfirmed reports suggest that there may be a Somali on Somali element here – the Aris 13 is said to have been on passage to a port in Somalia.

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