Pirated Cargo Ship Catches Fire off Somalia

Published Jun 20, 2011 12:00 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Amver participating bulk carrier, MV Orna, hijacked by Somali pirates has caught fire on Thursday June 16th off the Horn of Africa’s coast, forcing the nineteen captive crew and band of pirates to abandon ship.  All Orna crew members are reportedly safe on shore.

It is uncertain what ignited the fire aboard the Orna, though according to the pirates, the ship’s engines and cargo were not damaged by the fire, but did leave the crew’s living quarters destroyed.  The pirates transferred the 19 captive crew members to a nearby seized vessel. 

Pictured: MV Orna.  Photo credit: marinetraffic.com

As reported by Reuters, a pirate who called himself Adam said that they had done all they could to extinguish the fire on the ship, to no avail.  He also confirmed that they rescued all Orna crewmembers. 

The 27,915 dead weight tonne, Panama-flagged bulk cargo vessel is owned by the United Arab Emirates, managed by Swedish Management of Dubai and enrolled in the Amver system since January 1st 1990.

The Orna was hijacked northeast of Seychelles on December 20th 2010 and subsequently taken to the waters of Somalia, where it still remains in pirate control. 

In a statement released Friday, Amver expressed, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the crew for a speedy resolution to this incident.”