Mar 16, Colombo: The Combined Maritime Force in Bahrain is in contact with Somali Maritime Police on behalf of Sri Lanka to rescue the eight Sri Lankan crew aboard the Airs-13 hijacked by Somali pirates on Monday, according to Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.
President Sirisena tweeted that he has instructed the Navy Commander to communicate Sri Lanka's concern about the safety of the Sri Lankans on board the captured ship.
Meanwhile, a bid to recapture the oil tanker held by pirates off the coast of Somalia has failed after hijackers opened fire on maritime forces. Somali maritime police attempted to intercept a boat that was carrying supplies to the pirates but were fired at by the hijackers.
Earlier, a maritime official said the owners of the hijacked tanker had made contact with the ship and reported the crew members are safe.
"We know from the owners of the ship that they have spoken to the captain and that the crew are all OK and they are safe," John Steed of the non-profit Oceans Beyond Piracy told VOA. "They are being held under guard in a single compartment in the ship."
The Aris 13, manned by eight Sri Lankan sailors, was carrying fuel from Djibouti to Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, when it was approached by men in two skiffs and high jacked the vessel.