can you help us out here, those pirates have stolen our super tanker and 100 million USD of our oil and we need your help to get it ack so we can sell it to you, The International Community Owes Us Saudis.................
Saudis label pirates 'terrorists' after $100m loss
The Saudi Royal Family condemned Somali pirates as terrorists today after losing $100 million worth of oil in an audacious heist that saw bandits seize a supertanker in the Arabian Sea.
The Sirius Star, which was carrying two million barrels of oil, a quarter of the Kingdom's daily output, was captured with its multi-national crew, including two Britons, 450 miles off the coast of Kenya on Sunday.
The hijack was the biggest ever act of piracy in the perilous shipping lanes off the east coast of Africa. Vela International, the shipâ€™s owners, said today that the crew were safe and that their response team was awaiting further contact with the gang.
The furious Saudi foreign minister said the banditry was akin to terrorism and demanded an international crackdown on the pirates.
Prince Saud Al-Faisal said: â€śPiracy, like terrorism, is a disease which is against everybody, and everybody must address it together.
â€śThis outrageous act by the pirates, I think, will only reinforce the resolve of the countries of the Red Sea and internationally to fight piracy,â€ť
The prince suggested that several nations in the Red Sea region were willing to form a coalition to combat the ascendency of pirates in the Gulf of Aden and surrounding waters.
Last month, the UN Security Council unanimously approved resolutions calling on nations to send naval ships and military aircraft to Somaliaâ€™s coastline, and allowing foreign powers to enter Somali waters to fight piracy
A Nato flotilla of seven ships including a British frigate are already fighting piracy around Somalia. Nato, however, says its priority is escorting World Food Programme ships that deliver basic rations for three million hungry Somalis.
According to witnesses the 1,000ft hijacked ship was anchored overnight just off the lawless Somali coast. It was spotted less than three miles from the town of Harardhere, which is around 265 miles from the pirate haven of Eyl.
Abdinur Haji, a fisherman who lives near Harardhere, which is a pirate stronghold in itself, said: â€śAs usual, I woke up at 3am and headed for the sea to fish, but I saw a very, very large ship anchored less than three miles off the shore.
â€śThere are dozens of spectators on shore trying to catch a glimpse of the large ship, which they can see with their naked eyes.â€ť
The 318,000-tonne tanker, three times the size of an aircraft carrier, is not only the largest ship yet to be hijacked by increasingly bold pirates, but it occurred further out to sea than any previous attacks.
Admiral Michael Mullen, the top US military officer in the region said he was "stunned" by the reach of the Somali pirates.
"I'm stunned by the range of it, less so than I am the size," said Admiral Mullen. The pirates are "very good at what they do. They're very well armed. Tactically, they are very good," he said.
Its capture raises fears that international patrols nearer the coast and in the Gulf of Aden will not be enough to protect vital trade routes as pirate gangs become ever more daring.
It has been suggested by shipping experts that the prevalence of pirates in the Gulf of Aden would force ships to take the longer and more expensive journey around the Cape of Good Hope rather than using the Suez Canal. This vessel, however, was making that very journey raising the spectre that piracy now threatens all exports leaving the Middle East via boat.
The Sirius Star carried 25 crew members from Croatia, Britain, Philippines, Poland and Saudi Arabia, according to a US Navy statement.
The South Korean-built ship, launched earlier this year, is operated by Vela International and registered in Liberia.
The International Maritime Bureau has reported that at least 83 ships have been attacked off Somalia since January, of which 33 were hijacked. Of those, 12 vessels and more than 200 crew were still in the hands of pirates.
Britain leads a multinational task force in the area. Last week the Royal Navy was drawn into a shoot-out with a gang attempting to hijack a cargo ship, killing two of the pirates.
The US Fifth Fleet declined to say whether military action was being considered to rescue the tanker.
Shipping experts said that a rescue attempt was unlikely because of the extreme danger both to the crew and the ship.
Somalia has lacked a functioning government since the outbreak of civil war in 1991. But the lawlessness that has prevailed since the ousting of the Islamic Courts Government in 2007 has spawned the epidemic of piracy.
The gangsâ€™ methods vary little, even when taking a 320,000-tonne monster like the Sirius Star. Gunmen typically approach on small speedboats, opening fire on the bridge until the shipâ€™s captain submits and allows them on board, usually throwing down a ladder. The average reaction time between spotting the pirates and being boarded is 15 minutes.
Crews are strictly instructed not to resist attack once arms have been employed. Once captured, violence against crew members is rare.
In recent months the piratesâ€™ arsenal has grown more deadly, with rocket-propelled grenade launchers and possibly shoulder-mounted missiles used to threaten the crew.
Pirate groups have hugely extended their reach from the coast with the use of â€śmother shipsâ€ť, larger vessels from which they launch speedboats after they have identified their prey. While some known mother ships have been identified, other attacks are launched from ordinary dhows, traditional sailing boats hijacked from fishermen.
Negotiations with shipsâ€™ owners can go on for several months and are clouded in secrecy. Fourteen ships with more than 250 crew members are being held as negotiations continue. Among them is the Ukrainian arms ship Faina, which was captured in August with a cargo of 33 battle tanks, hundreds of crates of Kalashnikovs and ammunition.
Shipping companies have noticed a pattern in which new hijacks occur within days of a ransom settlement, suggesting that the gangs are acting in rotation, moving from one hijack to another as soon as the last is resolved.
Video: Pirates make contact with owner of oil supertanker - Times Online