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Latvian chemical tanker attacked by pirates off Somalia

(B2) The tanker MT Leopard Sun was indeed attacked by two skiffs on the night of February 23 (at 0:30 am local time) confirmed today the HQ of Atalanta, the European anti-piracy operation.

This 50.000 ton chemical tanker, flying the flag of Singapore, was en route from Sohar (Sultanate of Oman) to Cape Town (South Africa) when the incident occurred, about 160 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia . It belongs to the Latvian Shipping Company (LSC).

The replica of the security guards

The skiffs approached the MT Leopard Sun from the stern and fired on her. The private security team, which was on board, responded by firing warning shots. The incident lasted about 20 minutes before the skiffs pulled away. The crew used the full range of best practices » of the BMP4 standard (zigzags, water cannons). The ship and the crew are now safe, EUNAVFOR said, which was able to be in contact with the shipping company and the captain of the ship to assess the incident. An alert was sent to all vessels via EUNAVFOR's MSCHOA system and the UK UKMTO network.

The first incident in 2018

This hacker attack is the first incident of this type for the year 2018. The last attack dates back to November 2017 with the attack on the MV Ever Dynamic (read : Six pirates arrested in the Somali basin, between Seychelles and Somalia). Radar screens have remained blank for the past few months.


Only one ship in EUNAVFOR Atalanta

Fortunately... because today the operation only has one ship to cover the entire Indian Ocean area, the Spanish supply ship ESPS Patino (A-14), as well as a Spanish P3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Photo credit : Latvian Shipping Company

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).