Pirates hijack British luxury yacht off Seychelles

Other News Materials 3 April 2009 02:15 (UTC +04:00)

Pirates hijacked a British luxury yacht off the Seychelles on Wednesday, the tour group that owns the boat reported Thursday, dpa reported.

The ship's passengers had disembarked shortly before the attack, said a spokeswoman for Aquatours on Thursday. However, the seven- person crew of the Indian Ocean Explorer was taken hostage.

The attack occurred near the Aldabra Atoll in the Indian Ocean. The site, a UNESCO world heritage site, is a favourite for divers and naturalists.

The ship was taken into Somali waters after the attack, said a spokesman with the International Maritime Bureau in London. The group has noted a sharp spike in piracy incidents in the last month along the eastern coast of Somalia, with 15 successful hijacks in March, up from two in February and none in January.