Ship Hijacked by Somali Pirates Has Bulgarian Skipper

Crime | April 7, 2009, Tuesday // 15:48|  views

The frequent hijacking of ships by Somali pirates is becoming a major obstacle for maritime business in the area. Photo by BGNES

The skipper of the ship that was hijacked Monday by Somali pirates is a Bulgarian citizen from the Black Sea city of Varna.

This was confirmed Tuesday by the Manager of the Bulgarian operator for the ship, the "B Navy Bulgaria" company, Tsvetan Gudev.

Darik radio announced the skipper's name as Darin Mateev Drumev, who was born in the city of Sliven, but now lives in Varna. He is a former submarine commander and the last commander of the submarine division of the Bulgarian Navy. The names of the other Bulgarian hostages are yet unknown.

Gudev further informed that the "Malaspina Castle" ship is owned by British businessmen and is traveling under Panamanian flag. The ship was on its way from Novorossiisk to China carrying iron. The crew consists of 24 people, 16 of them Bulgarians, mostly form the coastal cities of Varna and Burgas.

Gurdev said he was optimistic because of the news that the sailors were safe and well, which meant that they would return home this way. According to Gurdev, it was known the pirates did not mistreat the kidnapped crews, adding all Bulgarian sailors were trained to respond to hijackers. The crew reported the incident themselves. About 140 Bulgarians currently sail on ships belonging to the same owner.

The 24 sailors taken hostage Monday by Somali pirates are reported to be safe and well according to the UK newspaper The Times. The ship was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden.


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Tags: Somali, pirates, Malaspina Castle


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