Pirates Capture German Project Cargo Ship

Pirates Capture German Project Cargo Ship

Somalia-based pirates are holding a German project cargo ship they seized off the coast of Kenya — the second foreign vessel captured in the region in as many days.

The pirates took control of the German vessel Beluga Fortune about 1,200 miles east of Mombasa, Kenya, on Sunday, according to a spokesman for the German army

The German shipping company Beluga-Reederei, which owns the vessel, declined to comment, but the German news agency DAPD said at least two German citizens were on board.

The Beluga Fortune was adrift in the Indian Ocean after the crew of 16 reached a safe room on the vessel and cut off the fuel to the engines, according vesseltracker.com. It reported two warships of the combined naval forces were on their way, and a helicopter was on scene.

On Saturday night, pirates seized a liquefied gas tanker 105 miles off the coast of Kenya in the Somali Basin, said officials in Singapore, where the ship is registered.

The MV York was traveling from Mombasa to Mahe in the Seychelles with 17 crew members when pirates commandeered the vessel, the Singapore Maritime and Port Authority said in a statement.

The authority said Sunday it was working with the ship's owner, York Maritime, and government agencies to recover the ship.

A Turkish warship sent a helicopter to investigate the attack, and its crew members saw pirates armed with weapons aboard the MV York, the European Union Naval Force said Sunday.

The 5,076-ton MV York had one German, two Ukrainians and 14 Filipinos aboard, the EU force said in a statement.

Somali pirates currently are holding 19 vessels with 428 hostages, according to the EU Naval Force.