Maritime Union Seeks Action to Protect Ships from Pirates off Somalia

Monday, November 07, 2005
According to reports, British maritime union called on Sunday for extra protection for ships traveling off the coast of Somalia in the face of an upsurge of piracy in the region. Two boats full of heavily armed pirates attacked a luxury cruise liner about 160 kilometers off the Somali coast Saturday and tried to get onboard. Andrew Linnington of the National Union of Marine Aviation and Shipping Transport, which represents merchant navy officers, said the union, known as NUMAST, was holding urgent talks with ship owners this week to discuss the problem of piracy off Somalia's coast, a situation he said was close to being out of control. Linnington said there had been 23 reported attacks off the Somalian coast since March, including attacks on two United Nations ships carrying relief supplies. The cruise ship escaped on Saturday by shifting to high speed and changing course. None of its passengers were injured.

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