German navy 'protecting cruise ship off Somalia'

9th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

9 November 2005, NEUSTADT, GERMANY - The German Navy task force off the Horn of Africa is keeping a watchful eye on a German cruise vessel in the area, the MV Deutschland, after pirates attacked a U.S. ship off Somalia, a shipping company said Wednesday.

9 November 2005

NEUSTADT, GERMANY - The German Navy task force off the Horn of Africa is keeping a watchful eye on a German cruise vessel in the area, the MV Deutschland, after pirates attacked a U.S. ship off Somalia, a shipping company said Wednesday.

Hans-Ulrich Kossel, a spokesman for the Deilmann shipping company in the Baltic port-town of Neustadt, said "that doesn't mean we've got a frigate steaming alongside us. The Navy can watch us on their radar".

The MV Deutschland left Cyprus on Wednesday bound for Dubai via the Red Sea.

A German newspaper, Hamburger Abendblatt, said the company had approached the Interior Ministry in Berlin to point out it was using shipping lanes near Somalia and this information was passed on to the naval force.

Soon after the September 11, 2001 attacks, Germany sent ships to the Indian Ocean to help the counter-terrorism task force based in Djibouti. One of its tasks is to stop terrorists crossing the sea to Somalia.

On Saturday, a U.S. cruise ship, the Seabourn Spirit, fended off a raid by two pirate speedboats about 160 kilometres off the Somali coast. The crew of the 10,000-ton vessel reportedly used a sound "gun" that issues an ear-splitting noise, high-pressure water hoses and a deft change of course to thwart the attackers.

DPA

Subject: German news

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