MV Biscaglia

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Name: MV Biscaglia
Owner: Winged Foot Shipping LLC, of the Marshall Islands[2]
Operator: Ishima (International Ship Management) Pte. Ltd., of Singapore[1][3]
Route: From Dumai, Indonesia, to Barcelona, Spain,[4] via the Suez Canal[5]
Builder: Odense Staalskibsværft A/S, of Odense, Denmark
Completed: 1986[6]
Homeport: Monrovia[6]
Identification:IMO number8406339[6]
Captured: November 28, 2008
Status: In service
Notes: Register information: Ship type 2, a2,b3,c3,v3,f2,str 0.1,k[6]
Badge: Signal Letters: A8FH3[6]
General characteristics
Class and type: 1A1 ICE-C Tanker for Chemicals and Oil ESP E0[6]
Type: Chemical tanker
Capacity: 27,350 DWT
Crew: 30

The MV Biscaglia is a chemical tanker managed by Ishima Pte. Ltd. of Singapore and held by Industrial Shipping Enterprises Management Company LLC of Stamford, Connecticut, USA.[6]


On November 28, 2008 the ship was carrying palm oil[7] in the Gulf of Aden and was hijacked by Somali pirates. The attack took place within the Maritime Security Patrol Area[4] and was attributed to six pirates armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades in a high-speed skiff.[7] The ship was the 97th to be hijacked off the coast of Somalia in 2008. In addition to the three security guards who escaped by jumping into the sea, 25 Indian and two Bangladeshi were members of the crew.[1]

The two British and one Irish guard, were employed by British-based security company Anti Piracy Maritime Security Solutions (APMSS), of Poole, Dorset. All three were military-trained, two being former marines and one a former paratrooper,[7] and were "... on board the vessel to provide logistical support and non-lethal defensive counter-measures." according to Andrew Mwangura, coordinator of the East African Seafarers Assistance Program.[8]

They did what they felt they had to do to save their lives and the lives of the crew. They were unarmed. They had no other option. As far as I'm concerned they deserve a medal. (Nick Davis, Head, APMSS, November 29, 2008)


Unarmed, the security guards attempted to repel the attackers for about 40 minutes by firing water cannon, zigzagging the skiff, and using a LRAD,[7] a non-lethal weapon that fires focused sound beams producing excruciating pain. A distress signal was received at 0447 hours UTC by the International Maritime Bureau's Piracy Reporting Centre, in Kuala Lumpur.[4] After the pirates boarded the ship and continued to shoot at the security force, the guards managed to escape by jumping overboard. They were rescued from the sea by a German navy helicopter,[10] and taken first to the French light monitoring frigate Nivôse before being transferred to the Jean de Vienne, a F70 type anti-submarine frigate of the French Marine Nationale.[7]

The incident caused the usefulness of LRADs to be called into question by Lloyd's List.[11]

The vessel was finally released on 24 January 2009 thanks to the efforts of Capt Satya Sahoo and his team from Ishima and the owners ISEC. All crew of the vessel at the time of its release were reported as being in good health.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Houreld, Katharine (November 28, 2008). "Somali pirates hijack ship, British guards escape". Retrieved 2008-11-28.
  2. ^ "Three escape pirate-hijacked tanker". November 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  3. ^ "News". Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  4. ^ a b c Osler, David (November 28, 2008). "Credibility of unarmed guards in Somalia questioned". Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  5. ^ "Yet another ship hijacked near Gulf of Aden, 25 Indians among crew". November 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Vessel BISCAGLIA (23567)". DNV GL Vessel Register. Det Norske Veritas. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  7. ^ a b c d e Fletcher, Martin (November 29, 2008). "British and Irish anti-piracy experts rescued - after pirates attack". Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  8. ^ "Guards reportedly flee hijacking". November 28, 2008. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved 2008-11-30. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ "Anti-piracy company backs guards' retreat". November 29, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  10. ^ Pflanz, Mike (November 28, 2008). "British crew jump overboard as pirates hijack another tanker off Somalia". Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  11. ^ David Osler, Sonic solution may not be a sound investment, Lloyd's List, December 2, 2008.
  12. ^ "MV Biscaglia released". 2009-01-24. Retrieved 2009-02-08.

External links[edit]