Pirates hijacked a Marshall Islands-flag chemical tanker with 21 men while it was anchored at the Port of Salalah, Oman, on Aug. 20, according to the Indian Shipping Ministry.
“At the time of the incident, the MV Fairchem Bogey was in a designated anchorage within the Salalah Port limits, waiting for berthing instructions after discharging at Al Jubail,” said ship operator Mumbai-based Anglo-Eastern Ship Management.
The 26,350-deadweight-ton Fairchem Bogey, owned by Singapore-based Eurus Maritime Carriers, was en route from Egypt to the Persian Gulf with a cargo of methanol.
“The Omani Coast Guard approached the vessel within an hour but were warned off by the pirates who asked them to move away to avoid casualties to the crew," the ministry said.
The ministry said there had been no contact with the all-Indian crew after its capture, and it was closely monitoring the situation.
“We have some information about where the pirates are taking the vessel to but they cannot be intercepted until they reach their destination as they have 21 crew members hostage and their life could be under threat,” the ministry said.
According to government estimates as of end-July, African pirates were holding captive 51 Indian sailors on various foreign and Indian-flag ships.