According to European Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) Somalia, which is fighting piracy off the Somali coast, m.v. Eagle was “attacked and pirated by a single skiff, with [the] pirates firing small arms and a rocket propelled grenade before boarding the vessel.”

The attack occurred in the piracy-infested Gulf of Aden, 490 nautical miles south of Salalah in Oman, said a EUNAVFOR media release.

The bulk carrier, which is Cypriot-flagged, was on its way from Aqabar in Jordan to the port of Paradip in Orissa when it came under attack.

No contact with ship

The EUNAVFOR also stated that that there had been no contact with the ship since the attack. The vessel has deadweight of 52,163 tonnes and a crew of 24 Filipinos.

Meanwhile, Somali pirates on Sunday released a Greek-owned vessel and its crew of 18 Filipinos after six months of captivity.

The Marshall Islands-flagged m.v. Motivator, which was pirated in the Southern Red Sea in early July, was released approximately 160 nautical miles south-west of the island of Socotra near the Somali coast, the EUNAVFOR said.

Ransom paid

Unconfirmed reports say that a hefty sum was paid as ransom to get the vessel released from pirate custody.

Ensuring safe passage

The EUNAVFOR's anti-piracy task force escorts merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Program and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia. It also ensures safe passage for vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.