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Cargo ship off Greece issues distress call indicating armed people on board



A cargo ship thought to be carrying hundreds of migrants near Greece sent out a distress call Tuesday that indicated armed people were on the ship, Reuters reported citing Greek television.

The ship was identified in reports as the Blue Sky M, which sails under the Moldovan flag.

“Helicopters are heading toward the area, but there are no more details now,” a ministry official told The Wall Street Journal.

Roy Paul, the program director at the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Center, told  a local news station that this apparent hijacking is unlike others in recent memory.

“Usually we deal with cases off the coast of Somalia to hold for ransom. This is in European waters. It’s totally different.”

Paul also questioned the motive behind the attack.

“Where is the financial gain? No-one’s going to pay ransom for illegal immigrants,” he said.

Greek officials said a Greek frigate that was in the area and a navy helicopter are heading to the area. The ship is believed to be carrying about 600 migrants, and was sailing in poor weather near the tiny island of Othonoi, northwest of Corfu.

A merchant marine ministry official said the distress call had come from one of the passengers on board the ship.

The call comes two days after a Greek passenger ferry with more than 400 people on board caught fire in the same area, leading to a massive rescue operation by Italian and Greek coast guard and military officials. At least 10 people died in that incident, while more than 400 were rescued. Authorities are searching for potential missing passengers from the Norman Atlantic ferry.

Source: Fox News