The Russian Navy has joined the search operation for a Finnish ship with a Russian crew that was attacked by pirates in the Atlantic Ocean en route to Algeria

According to a navy statement, radio contact with the freighter Arctic Sea with 13 to 15 crew members on board was lost on 28 July.

The pirates attacked the cargo vessel, which was scheduled to arrive in Bejaia, Algeria on 4 August 2009 in Swedish territorial waters on 24 July.

The pirates boarded the ship between the Swedish islands of Oeland and Gotland in the Baltic Sea, identifying themselves as police officers.

The freighter was carrying lumber cargo including sawn wood products from Stora Enso Oyj valued at €1.3m ($1.8m).

The ship, which was built in 1991, weighs 4,706t and is operated by Oy Solchart Management AB.