The 74,000DWT tanker, ‘Lia’ has had a close call with pirates, but managed to escape unscathed.
‘The vessel’s 26 crew, all of whom are Indian nationals, are unhurt, and the ships is continuing its journey to China. The Liberian-flagged panamax tanker ‘Lia’ is managed by Seearland Shipping, the Netherlands, and Italy’s Motia Compagnia di Navigazione. The ‘Lia’ had loaded its cargo of naphtha in Amsterdam and was proceeding to its discharge destination in China. The vessel arrived at the meeting point in the Gulf of Aden and was waiting for a naval escort to assist the vessel in the transit of the Gulf of Aden. The vessel was given military escort by a Chinese warship along with three other vessels. On February 24, the vessel experienced an engine malfunction and was forced to stop. The officer of the watch detected on radar two high-speed craft approaching the vessel and closing in dangerously. The Master raised the alarm on board and the crew started taking action as per the standard vessel security plan.