Possible pirate attack against local fishing boat


04-November-2011

Minister Morgan speaking to the press yesterday eveningThe Minister for Home Affairs, Environment and Transport, Joel Morgan, last night said -- after the owner of the Aride reported the boat missing since Monday -- there are fears that it could have been captured by pirates. 

Communication contact with the boat by VMS has been lost by the SPDF Coastguards and the Seychelles Fishing Authority since Sunday, he said.

Mr Morgan, who is also chairman of the high-level committee on piracy, said the fears have grown after a French purse seiner was also attacked by pirates 200 miles west of Denis Island, but managed to repel the attackers.

According to reports from the French vessel, a small boat of the lekonomi type, believed to match the description of the Aride, was seen tied up to the pirate mother ship.

Minister Morgan said this all goes to show that Somali pirates have become active sooner and closer to our islands this season than in previous years.

He said the SPDF Coastguards have enlisted the help of a Norwegian and two European Union spotter planes to scour the area, but have been unable to come up with fresh evidence of any pirate attack.

The Chief of Defence Forces, Brigadier Leopold Payet, said that patrol boats have been despatched to find the missing fishing boat.
 
He said all measures “deemed necessary” will be used to free the missing Seychellois fishermen if they have been captured.

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