Pirates seize Greek coal ship off Somalia

Feb. 22, 2009 at 7:46 PM

MOGADISHU, Somalia, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Pirates commandeered a Greek ship carrying a load of coal Sunday off the coast of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden, officials said.

The BBC reported the British warship HMS Northumberland was about 60 miles away when it received a radio call from the captain of the MV Saldanha saying the pirates had boarded his ship and were taking it to Somalia.

The Saldanha's captain told the British officer the pirates had warned the naval vessel to keep its distance, the British network said.

Athens News Agency reported the Greek merchant ship was flying under the Malta flag with a crew of 24 and was bound for Slovenia with a shipment of coal. The news agency said the Merchant Marine Ministry referred to the ship as the "Santalia."

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