Hijacked ship runs out of food, owner hopes for quick negotiation

Hijacked ship MV AbdullahIndian Navy

The Bangladeshi ship which was hijacked around two weeks ago is running out of food and it prompted the Somali pirates to bring supplies from the shore, according to the ship owner and the merchant marine officers association. 

The ship had a food stock of 25 days when it was hijacked on 12 March, and the pirates have been sharing the food for the next 16 days. 

The Bangladesh Merchant Marine Officers Association has been maintaining communication with the crew aboard. Its president, Captain Anam Chowdhury, said the pirates usually bring food to the hijacked ship in their own interest. They came to know about bringing Tehari-like foods in MV Abdullah, the Bangladesh-flagged ship. 

Another Bangladeshi ship, MV Jahan Moni, faced a similar piracy attack in 2010 and the pirates supplied food to the crew. The ship was freed from the pirates after 100 days of hostage. 

Mohammad Idris, a crew of MV Jahan Moni, recounted the hostage days, saying the pirates used to supply food items from the shore after the ship finished its stock. 

“At one stage of hostage, the frozen food got rotten as the fridge was not in operation. When the stock finished in the final days, the pirates used to provide food from the shore,” he told Prothom Alo.  

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Generally, a ship carries enough food for the duration of its  voyage and a buffer in case of delays. MV Abdullah was heading from Mozambique to the United Arab Emirates when it was hijacked. It had limited provisions as the journey was expected to last 15 days.

Mizanul Islam, media advisor of the ship owner, Kabir Group, told Prothom Alo that the crew are safe and sound. The ship is running out of food. Still, there is nothing to worry as the pirates are bringing food from the shore. 

Hope for quick negotiations

The owning company has been regularly negotiating with the pirates and is optimistic about a quick resolution. Mizanul Islam said, “Our efforts are on to negotiate with the pirates quickly and bring the crew safe.”