Update: Polish crew on pirated tanker off Somali coast


Poland’s Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has confirmed that onboard of the supertanker hijacked by pirates off the Kenyan coast are two Poles: the captain and technical officer.


The minister informed that the names of the Polish members of the crew are already known, but refused to reveal them. The spokesman of the ministry Piotr Paszkowski added later on during the press conference that the ship-owner is in touch with the families of the kidnapped Poles.


Sikorski said that the hijacking is a very complicated issue and one should not expect “an immediate solution.” He stressed that the ministry is in touch with allies who have military forces in the region where the ship was captured.


The foreign minister said that one cannot exclude the fact that Poland’s decision to participate in the EU mission in the region could be influenced by the hijacking. He stressed however that it is difficult to react every time when a Polish citizen is in trouble and pointed out that Poles do serve onboard numerous ships under various banners all around the world.


In December, Poland is to launch its first sea military mission within the framework of EU air and naval forces action against piracy off the Somali coast. The mission, Eunavfor Atalanta, is to involve at least seven ships, including three frigates and one supply vessel, as well as air scouts.


The Sirius Star  tanker, with a 25-member crew aboard, was captured by Somali pirates at about 10 a.m. Saturday more than 450 nautical miles southeast of Mombasa, Kenya. (jm)


Source: PAP,