South Korean Navy Chases Pirated Oil Tanker

Supertanker believed to hold $150M worth of crude
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 5, 2010 9:55 AM CDT
South Korean Navy Chases Pirated Oil Tanker
Samho Shipping official Jo yong-woo points to a map during a press conference at its office in Busan, South Korea, Monday, April 5, 2010.   (Jo Jung-ho)

A South Korean navy destroyer is pursuing an US-bound oil supertanker believed to have been hijacked by pirates in the Indian Ocean off Somalia, officials said. The navy received a call yesterday from the Samho Dream supertanker saying three pirates had boarded, and then there was no more contact. The warship had been in the Gulf of Aden on anti-piracy operations, and will need to move 1,000 miles southeast to catch up to the tanker.

That could take it a little over a day, according to a military spokesman. The tanker, which was sailing from Iraq to Louisiana and is believed to be carrying more than $150 million worth of crude oil, hadn't had a security detail because pirates were not believed to be active so far from the Gulf of Aden. Five South Korean and 19 Filipino sailors are aboard. (More oil tanker pirates stories.)

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