Somali pirates release two ships-official


Somali pirates have released a fishing vessel and fuel oil tanker seized in March, says a maritime official.

“UBT Ocean and Sakoba are both free,” Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarers’ Assistance Programme told Reuters.

The UBT Ocean is a Marshall Islands-registered tanker hijacked off Madagascar while carrying fuel oil from the United Arab Emirates to Tanzania. The FV Sakoba is a fishing vessel that has been operating in Kenyan and Tanzanian waters.

Mwangura said family members of the 10 Kenyans aboard Sakoba had gathered at the port city of Mombasa to await their relatives. The crew also includes a Spaniard, a Polish national, a Namibian, a Cape Verde national and two Senegalese.
“It (FV Sakoba) is still in Somali waters. It is steaming out to safe waters,” Mwangura said by telephone, adding that the tanker UBT Ocean has a crew of 21.

Pirate attacks globally declined by nearly a fifth in the first half of 2010 from the same period last year due to a strong naval presence in the Gulf of Aden.