• Sweden's news in English

Swedish tanker hit by pirate attack

TT/The Local/pvs · 1 Aug 2011, 07:59

Published: 01 Aug 2011 07:59 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

While the crew escaped unhurt, the attack raises once again the question of whether Swedish ships should be able to arm themselves in the battle against pirates.

"Had you asked me a year ago I would have been a staunch opponent against having armed guards, but today I am much more hesitant," said Jonas Engström, security manager at shipping firm Wisby Ship Management, to news agency TT.

Shortly after 3am on Sunday morning, he received a call from the crew of the tanker Gotland Sofia.

Around ten pirates had boarded the ship while the crew unloaded the cargo of oil to an adjacent vessel, 70 kilometres outside the port of Cotonou in Benin.

The crew, consisting of four Swedes, 18 Filipinos and a Ukrainian, proceeded to lock themselves in. The pirates tried to get into where the crew had blockaded themselves, but fled when units from Benin's navy fleet approached.

"In this case, nothing happened, but a lot of people become anxious. It is a situation that may involve substantial risks."

Story continues below…

The government is current investigating the question of whether Swedish shipping companies should be allowed to have armed guards on board their ships. But pending the outcome of the investigation, many companies have already begun to employ guards.

"We will certainly look at it now," Jonas Engström said.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

11:04 August 1, 2011 by KungsholmenGuy
Rather than running around the forests of Sweden and shooting at mosquitos during training excersizes, why are soldiers from Sweden's army not already deployed on Swedish ships? The army exists to protect Sweden's interests - both the safety of her people and her financial interests. Not clear to me why armed escorts to Swedish merchants are not already being supplied for a nominal fee. Is the Swedish government worried that this would constitute a declaration of war against Somalia?
11:33 August 1, 2011 by J Jack
As a waterman I have often wondered why there is not a boycot of pirates using nuclear contaminated decoy ships from Russia and running them aground at prime pirate access points.
12:04 August 1, 2011 by johnny1939
I thought Wallenius already did employ armed guards.
15:12 August 1, 2011 by millionmileman
They are debating if Swedish shipping should be allowed to arm themselves from Somali Pirates!

Excuse me, but either way this and SAAB's jobs situation with the Swedish Government indecisions with Vladimir Antonov are amounting to total incompetence and ineptitude. I suppose nothing is more pressing right now than Snus!
17:18 August 1, 2011 by Svensksmith
Please people, a little compassion. Don't call them pirates, call them law disabled.
20:01 August 1, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
I am against the selling of arms to Swedish tankers. They should be armed with Swedish meatballs to conquer the pirates good will. After the meatballs, some Absolute vodka and then the chat with some snus. As Svenskmith just wrote, they are not pirates, they are law disabled.

Now, if the government wants to go a step further, they could be hired to attack Gaddafi's forces at sea.
20:19 August 1, 2011 by mkvgtired
"Had you asked me a year ago I would have been a staunch opponent against having armed guards, but today I am much more hesitant,"

I guess its ok when French, German, and American ships are attacked. This seemed to be relatively foreseeable.

It seems like armed resistance worked pretty well when the SEALs taught the pirates that there may be some risk to taking people hostage at gun point. I remember how many people were against this. I would say, however, if you do not want to get shot in the head, dont take people hostage at gunpoint. Seems to be a pretty simple cause and effect relationship.
06:45 August 2, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
Pirates were commissioned by Bofors so that the government arms the tankers.
Today's headlines
Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

'Don't turn the Pope into a global teddy bear'
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Leonore visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

It's time to hold the Pope to account and make sure he turns his words about reform into action, argues a minister of the Swedish Church ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Sweden.

Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Should Swedes think fairtrade with porn? Photo: Karin Malmhav/SvD/TT

A fairtrade attitude to pornography would be beneficial, Sweden's health minister told The Local.

Presented by Stockholm University
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

Nordic fashion took centre stage in the Swedish capital last week as Stockholm University hosted the “first-ever” academic conference looking at luxury and sustainability in the fashion industry.

Referee, coach and parents in Swedish youth football fight
File photo of a referee holding a red card not related to the story. Photo: Stefan Jerrevång/TT

A football dad broke his leg in the brawl in front of 11-year-old kids after a Hammarby youth football game.

Illicit abattoir kept more than 100 bulls' penises
A couple of young bulls not related to the story. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Dried cattle genitalia, goats' heads and hundreds of litres of lard were just a few of the many strange finds discovered when police raided a property in Sweden.

This is officially Sweden's most beautiful beard
The most beautiful beard in Sweden. Photo: Memo Göcek

According to a jury of barbers and 'well known bearded profiles', that is.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
jobs available