A Spanish navy ship is sailing at full speed towards a commercial ship that may be hijacked by pirates, the European Union’s Somali counter piracy force said on Friday.
“Based on first information available on MV Ruen, the EUNAVFOR Operation ATALANTA flagship Spanish ship Victoria is proceeding fast towards the alleged pirate-hijacked vessel to gain more awareness and evaluate following actions,” the EU’s force said in a statement.
The statement added that it was co-ordinating with the broader international naval Combined Maritime Force.
Earlier on Friday, Britain’s maritime body UKMTO said it had received a report from a ship’s security officer who believed the crew no longer had control of a vessel which was currently headed towards Somalia.
The Maltese-flagged vessel is managed by Bulgaria’s Navigation Maritime Bulgare, according to data on public shipping database Equasis.
The vessel was last seen underway in the open sea sailing towards Somalia at 1117 GMT, according to ship tracking data on LSEG.
If confirmed, this would be the first hijacking involving Somali pirates in years after counter-piracy efforts by international navies stopped such seizures in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.
Reporting by Jonathan Saul, Editing by William Maclean and Christina Fincher.