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Pirates let Abdullah crew ‘phone home’ ship heads for shore

The crew on hi-jacked Bangladeshi vessel Abdullah (IMO 9745598) have been permitted to call their families, possibly in an attempt to discourage a reboarding attempt by the Indian Navy.

The EU’s Aphides has been shadowing the vessel, but not interfering. Reports are that the Somali pirates have repositioned the bulker closer to shore, while restating that the crew remain on board. They permitted the crew to call home for the first time since the incident began more than a week ago, partly to let them say that they have not been maltreated.

The media in Bangladesh are quoting family members reporting that each crewmember was given a few minutes on the vessel’s satellite phone to call their families. The pirates have confiscated cell phones and electronic devices from the crew.

The 22 crew members apparently said that they were well, but also fearful that the ship would soon run out of drinking water and food. They told family members that the ship only had supplies aboard for the voyage that would have already reached the UAE.

The crew also told their families that tensions were running high, with the captors brandishing AK-47 rifles onboard.

Last week the Indian Navy rescued the crew of the Bulgarian vessel Ruen, last weekend. A warship working with the EUNAVFOR Atalanta mission has been watching the Abdullah from a distance. The Indian Navy reported it had followed the ship until it reached Somali waters.

The pirates were reported to have moved all the crew into a single room. Previously they had been permitted to stay in their cabins. Apparently additional pirates to the original hi-jackers had also boarded the ship, possibly relieving the first batch.

The ship was repositioned four miles from the Somali coast. As a discouragement to the Indian Navy, representatives of the Bangladesh government, and SK Shipping, told the Bangladeshi media that they did not approve of the use of force. They remained hopeful of a quick and peaceful settlement.

2015-built, Bangladesh-flagged, 32,714 gt Abdullah is owned by SR Shipping Ltd care of Brave Royal Ship Management of Chattogram, Bangladesh. It is entered with West P&I (Eastern Claims team) on behalf of SR Shipping Ltd.

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