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Maran Tankers Management confirms tanker hijack; issues statement

Maran Tankers Management confirms tanker hijack; issues statement

London: Maran Tankers Management Inc, operators and managers of the Greek Flag, crude oil tanker "Maran Centaurus", have confirmed that their 300,300 dwt tanker was hijacked by pirates some 762 miles off the Coast of Somalia on Sunday November 29. At the time of the attack the vessel was on route from Mina Al Ahmadi, Kuwait, to the US Gulf. 28 crew members are on board, comprising 9 Greek nationals, 16 Filipinos, 1 Romanian and 2 Ukrainians.

Maran Tanker Management has received a call from the vessel stating that all those on board are being well treated; the call at approx noon today (30th) stated that the " Maran Centaurus" was heading for the area of Hobyo on Somalia's Puntland Coast.

In a statement to the press, the company said, "All the appropriate authorities have been contacted and made aware of the situation, including the Flag State, the counter piracy coordination force EU NAVFOR and relevant Embassies of seafarers involved.

The whole focus of the Maran Tanker Management is to ensure the safety, well being and early release of the seafarers on board the tanker, while keeping their families -and the crews manning agents- fully advised of the situation and any developments, understanding fully the great concern they must have at this time for their loved ones.

The crew on board are being lead by a highly experienced Captain who obtained his Master's ticket in 1992 and has served as a Captain with the company for the past nine years."

Maran Tankers Management states that it has a comprehensive range of security measures that are implemented by the crew of all its vessels when sailing in the Gulf of Aden or off the Somalia Coast. "It is a fact, however, that a fully laden very large crude oil tanker has limited opportunity for evasive manoeuvres and once pirates have boarded the vessel, the master has a paramount duty to ensure the safety of the crew," the company explained.

Maran Tanker Management confirms that there were no armed security personnel on board the vessel at the time of the attack, the company having taken the general industry view that the presence of security personnel on board can increase the risk of escalating the level of violence and further endanger the seafarers.

Maran Tanker Management is being supported by all the necessary professional advisors in dealing with this hijack and has stated that it will not be providing any operational details that might endanger the lives of its crew, nor encourage further criminal attacks of this kind.  [30/11/09]