Medallion Marine, operators of MT SP Brussels, has reported that the five crew members (Indian seafarers) who were taken from the vessel by armed men off the Niger Delta in December have been released.
Confirming the release in an e-mailed statement to Sagar Sandesh, the shipping company said that all the five seafarers are believed to be in good health after their ordeal.
Medallion Marine has also expressed their admiration for the crew and their families who have shown great courage and fortitude throughout this very difficult situation, the statement said. Following medical examinations, the crew members have now been flown home in order to be reunited with their families.
On Dec. 16, 2012 five Indian seafarers who were on board the mercantile vessel SP BRUSSELS, belonging to the German company Medallion Reederei GmbH, were abducted by the sea pirates in Nigeria. Second Officer Thomson Britto, from Kanyakumari District in Tamil Nadu, was one among the five seafarers. They were abducted by the pirates for ransom.
Though the company statement did not elaborate on how the crew were released, unconfirmed reports reaching here has suggested that ransom was indeed paid to secure the release of the five Indian seafarers.
According to information available, the seafarers were released by the pirates on Jan. 25 after receiving the ransom from the ship company.
Meanwhile, Fr. Churchil, General Secretary, South Asian Fishermen Fraternity, thanked the ship company and the Government of India for taking all the initiatives for release of the abducted seafarers.
It may be noted that Fr. Churchil along with others including Tamil Nadu Meenavar Peravai took up the matter with the Government of India and with the shipping company for securing the safe release of all the five Indian seafarers from the pirates’ custody.