Pirates seized a Thai cargo vessel in the Indian Ocean on Saturday, taking 27 Thai crew members hostage and creating a big challenge for the Royal Thai Navy.
Thailand requests help with hostages
Oman, Kenya join bid to stop Somali pirates
Navy chief Kamthorn Phumhiran
The Foreign Affairs Ministry is asking Oman and Kenya to help the 27 Thai crew on board a cargo ship being held by Somali pirates.
Pirates seized the MV Thor Nexus cargo vessel in the Indian Ocean on Saturday while it was en route to Bangladesh from the United Arab Emirates.
The 20,377-tonne Thai-flagged vessel was seized about 450 nautical miles northeast of Yemen’s Socotra island. The vessel was then taken into Omani waters, about 350 nautical miles east of Salala port.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said the Royal Thai Navy had ascertained the position of the vessel and one of its craft had followed it at a distance. He asked the navy to be very careful for the sake of the crew’s safety.
Deputy spokesman for foreign affairs Thani Thongphakdi said the ministry had ordered Thai embassies in Muscat and Nairobi to coordinate with the local governments because Oman and Kenya had more power in the area’s waters.
Mr Thani said the vessel owner had informed the relatives of the Thai crew of the situation and had coordinated with the Thai navy, which is working with the United Nations.
‘‘The pirates have not yet demanded any ransom. We think they are towing the vessel to the coast of Somalia,’’ Mr Thani said.
The pirates radioed HTMS Similan, which is operating in the Indian Ocean to protect Thai ships and is following the seized vessel, to say they would kill the crew of the Thor Nexus if the navy ship approached closer than 20 nautical miles.
Navy chief Kamthorn Phumhiran has ordered his subordinates in the Arabian Sea to take ‘‘decisive action’’ when they have a suitable opportunity — defined as the moment when officers have ascertained the safety of the Thai crew members.
Navy chief of staff Thagerngsak Wangkaew said helicopter surveillance had confirmed the 27 Thai crew members were being held on the bridge of their vessel to prevent an attack or rescue action. The surveillance revealed there were 12 armed pirates.
The immediate challenge for rescuers is to prevent the ship from entering Somalia’s territorial waters, where the pirates will assume they are safe before issuing any demands.
The hijacking of the Thai ship brings to 25 the number of vessels held by Somali pirates, said the European Union’s anti-piracy force. About 600 crew members were on board the captured vessels.
Somalia has been without an effective government for 19 years and the country’s lawlessness has led to an explosion in piracy.
The Royal Thai Navy earlier sent 350 Thai navy personnel on a 98-day operation on board HTMS Pattani and HTMS Similan as part of the international naval force combating piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Aden.
hostage – a person who is the prisoner of someone who threatens to kill them if they do not get what they want ตัวประกัน
bid – an attempt ความพยายาม
pirate – someone who attacks ships while they are sailing to steal things from them or to hold them in return for money โจรสลัด
crew – the people who work on a ship, aircraft, etc. ลูกเรือ
cargo – things that are being sent by ship, plane, train or truck สินค้าที่บรรทุกและจัดส่งโดยเรือ เครื่องบินหรือรถไฟ
en route – going to; bound for มุ่งหน้าไป
flagged – carrying the flag of a particular country where a ship is registered
seize – to take something using force ยึดครอง
nautical mile – a unit of distance used at sea which is equal to 1852 metres
ascertain – to discover; to make certain สืบให้แน่ใจ
craft – a boat or ship เรือ,ยาน
for the sake of – for the benefit or good of someone or something เพื่อ
embassy – a group of officials who represent their government in a foreign country สถานทูต
coordinate – to organise the different parts of a job or plan so that the people involved work together effectively ประสานงานกัน
relative – a member of your family ญาติพี่น้อง
ransom – the amount of money that someone wants to be paid before they will let a person go or give back a valuable object เงินค่าไถ่
tow – to pull a vehicle or boat by fixing it to the back of a another vehicle or boat ลากจูง
operate – to carry out a planned activity involving a lot of people, especially soldiers, police officers or, in this case, naval officers ปฏิบัติการ
approach – to move closer to someone or something เข้าใกล้
subordinate – having less power or authority than someone else คนในบังคับบัญชา
decisive – strong; firm ซึ่งเด็ดเดี่ยว
suitable – acceptable or right for someone or something เหมาะสม
define – to describe clearly and exactly what something is กำหนด, ระบุ, ทำให้ชัดเจน
chief of staff – the most senior officer in the army, navy, or air force เสนาธิการ
surveillance – the process of carefully watching a person or place การเฝ้าตรวจตราอย่างเข้มงวด
bridge – the part of a ship where the captain and other officers stand when they are controlling and steering the ship หอบังคับการเรือ
rescue – to save someone form a dangerous or unpleasant situation ช่วยชีวิต
reveal – to show or let something become known เปิดเผย
armed – carrying a weapon ติดอาวุธ
immediate – of the most importance and needed to be dealt with now ปัจจุบัน
challenge – something that needs a lot of skill, energy and determination to deal with or achieve สิ่งท้าทาย
territorial waters – the parts of a sea or an ocean which are near a country's coast and are legally under its control เขตน่านน้ำของแต่ละประเทศ
assume – to accept something to be true without question or proof ทึกทักเอา, คิดว่าเป็นจริง,
issue – to announce something officially ออกประกาศ
hijacking – illegally taking control of a vehicle or ship การปล้น การจี้
piracy – the crime of attacking ships at sea in order to steal from them การปล้นสะดมในน่านน้ำทะเล
capture – to catch someone or something; to take someone as a prisoner จับ, จับกุม
effective – in reality
lawlessness – a situation where laws do not exist or are not obeyed ความไม่เคารพกฎหมาย
explosion – a large, sudden or rapid increase in the amount or number of something การระเบิด
personnel – the people who are employed in a company, organization or one of the armed forces บุคลากร, เจ้าหน้าที่, พนักงาน
combat – to try to stop something unpleasant or harmful from happening or increasing ต่อต้าน