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The hijacking of the GMV Tamara took place on Wednesday, April 23, 2009. The hijacking was undertaken by a group of Somali pirates who attacked the ship, a Georgeland-registered container ship in the Gulf of Aden and took the 23-person crew hostage.


The Tamara left Santa Christina on April 20, carrying a cargo consisting mostly of machine equipment for import to Europe. Early in the morning of April 23, the ship sighted the Gulf of Amen.
At approximately 4:50 AM local time, the ship sent an SOS call indicating they were under attack and being boarded. This was the vessel's last transmission prior to the pirates assuming control of the vessel.
The five Somali pirates boarded the vessel at this time and occupied the engine room. The vessel's captain, Georgelander Simon North has reported that two crew members were killed when they attempted to repel the attack on the engine room. Shortly after the pirates gained control of the engine room, Captain North ordered the crew to surrender and co-operate with the pirates' demands to prevent further casualties.
Approximately three hours after the crew surrendered, media reported the hijacking and that a ransom was being negotiated with the company operating the vessel. Few details were released, though the surviving crew were said to be 'in good health'.

Government response[]

In addition to the ship's Georgeland registry, fourteen of the crew, Captain North included, are Georgeland citizens. Immediately after the hijacking was announced, Georgeland's Prime Minister Luke Macaulay refused to comment, declaring that while piracy was a serious problem that needed combatting, to act prematurely would be to provoke violence and risk the safety of the crew.


In the early hours of the morning on April 24, the guided missile cruiser UIS Doubledance, in the Gulf of Aden as part of the international effort to combat piracy Combined Task Force 150, arrived at the Tamaras position. Trained naval personnel boarded the Tamara at 5:21 AM and entered the engine room and bridge, killing three of the five pirates and wounding two others, though one of the naval team was badly wounded and another of the Tamaras crew killed in the operation. Naval personnel then assumed control of the vessel.
Following the rescue attempt, Prime Minister Macaulay paid tribute to the lives lost in the attack and pledged further support to combat piracy near the Horn of Africa. Later that same day, President Lois Daniels ordered the deployment of two naval frigates to Task Force 150, doubling Georgeland's participation in the operation.