London/Singapore: Somali pirates captured a Singaporean chemical tanker with 24 crew members in the Gulf of Aden on the first day of 2010.
The 150-metre long, 20,000-tonne M.T Parmoni was on its way from Italy to India when it was boarded on Friday and forced to turn towards the Somali coast, according to the European Union's Atalanta mission, based in Northwood, Britain.
The crew includes 17 Indonesians, five Chinese, one Nigerian and one Vietnamese.
"We are trying to raise contact with the ship and look into the safety of the crew," a spokesperson for the owners of the ship, GBLT Shipmanagement Pte Ltd, said Saturday morning.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said it received a distress alert from the chemical tanker at 0930 GMT Friday.
Piracy off the Somali coast picked up again this week after a relative lull in attacks. A British chemical tanker and a Greek freighter have also been hijacked, carrying 45 crew members in total.