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Russian marines thwart tanker hijack

Marines from a Russian Navy anti-submarine ship thwarted the attempted hijack of a Russian tanker carrying 86,000 tonnes of crude oil.

The Liberian-registered tanker, the 230-metre Moscow University, had left the Red Sea on its way to China when it was boarded by Somali Pirates 350 nautical miles off the coast of Yemen. With some $52m-worth of crude on board, quick-thinking by the ship's captain, Yuri Tulchinski, saved both the cargo and crew of 23.

The Captain spotted the pirate's speedboats approaching the ship and locked himself and the crew in the engine-room before disabling the propulsion system and calling for help. Russian Naval vessel, the Marshall Shaposhnikov, was on patrol as part of the joint Russian-European anti-piracy taskforce and came to the rescue.

It's helicopters were deployed, coming under fire from the pirates, before Russian marines boarded the ship in a combined air and sea assault.  One pirate was killed and ten were captured, while the crew were found unharmed.

The tanker is likely to continue to its final destination.

Tags: Africa, Corporate News, marine

Published 6th May, 2010

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