Belgian ship sends distress signal in pirate waters

18th April 2009, Comments 0 comments

A Belgian ship sent a distress signal in pirate-infested waters off east Africa Saturday, authorities said, adding that contact had since been lost with the vessel.

BRUSSELS - Benoit Ramacker, spokesman for the Belgian government's crisis centre, said the Pompei, with a crew of two Belgians and a number of other nationalities, had transmitted an alarm at 0430 GMT, followed by another half-an-hour later.

The double alert is a standard practice linked to anti-terrorism measures, according to the crisis centre.

Ramacker said that senior government and shipping officials had convened an emergency meeting in Brussels.

Belgian broadcasting media reported earlier that a Belgian dredger with a crew of two Belgians and several Dutch sailors had been victim of an act of piracy off Somalia.


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