After four days of uncertainty regarding the exact status of the crew, ‘Beluga Nomination’ is now believed to be pirated, according to EU NAVFOR.
On the afternoon of January 22, 2011, ‘Beluga Nomination’ was attacked by a skiff, with an unknown number of suspected pirates on board. Small arms were used against the vessel during the attack.
The attack took place in the Indian Ocean, 390 nautical miles north of the Seychelles. ‘Beluga Nomination’ is an Antiguan and Barbudan-flagged, German-owned, general cargo vessel which was on passage to Port Victoria in the Seychelles at the time of the attack. ‘Beluga Nomination’ was registered with MSC(HOA) and had reported to UKMTO.
When the pirates boarded the vessel the crew went into a citadel that the pirates were eventually able to enter. The nearest EU NAVFOR warship at the time of the attack was over 1,000nm away. The warship was waiting to escort a World Food Programme (WFP) vessel delivering vital humanitarian aid to Somalia, which is EUNAVFOR’s primary task. The current status of the crew is unknown.