Seized Norwegian ship’s captain says crew all OK

The captain of a Norwegian-owned ship seized by pirates off Somalia last week has told the vessel’s operator the crew are all accounted for and are “OK”, the company says.
Reuters says the 23 000-tonne Bahamas-registered MT Bow Asir, operated by Salhus Shipping, was boarded by pirates on Thursday about 250 miles east of the coast.
Its 27-member crew consists of a Norwegian captain, 19 Filipinos, five Poles, one Russian and one Lithuanian, Salhus Shipping has said.
“Late Saturday afternoon, March 28, Salhus Shipping AS spoke with the Master of the vessel, MT Bow Asir, by telephone briefly to record the position and state of crew and the vessel,” the company, based in Haugesund, said in a statement yesterday.
“The master informed us that the crew were all accounted for and were ‘all ok’,” it said, adding it would stay in contact with the families of the crew.
The company did not say if a ransom had been demanded, and the statement said it would give no further details about contact with the vessel because of the sensitivity of the situation.
The Bow Asir, a chemical tanker carrying caustic soda, was hijacked a day after another vessel, the Greek-owned and Panamana-registered MT Nipayia, was seized by pirates 450 miles from Somalia’s south coast.
According to the International Maritime Bureau, there have been seven successful hijackings by Somali pirates so far this year, compared with a record number of 42 in 2008.