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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Monday, 14 January, 2002, 20:07 GMT
Coastguard raises pirate alarm
Falmouth Coastguards HQ
Falmouth Coastguards picked up a distress call
Cornish coastguards put out an international alert after pirates began attacking a cargo ship on Monday.

The incident happened off the east African coast, but a distress call was picked up by Falmouth coastguards.

They alerted the French army in Djibouti, Somali officials and the International Piracy Center in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

The call was made from the 6,000-ton Princess Sarah via satellite at 0433 GMT when the ship was attacked by two speedboats off the coast of Somalia.

A coastguard agency spokesman said the captain of the Greek-owned vessel reported he was being fired on by pirates.

Hour's pursuit

They ordered him to stop so they could board.

But he refused to obey, despite being chased for an hour, said the anonymous coastguard source - who could not confirm what cargo the ship was carrying.

The spokesman at Falmouth said: "We are very pleased to have been able to help as far as possible and to alert all the relevant authorities.

"Our role in life is to look after seafarers."

The coastguards at Falmouth are often involved in co-ordinating rescues several hundred miles away.



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