Three sailors, two Russians and one Romanian, have been released after being kidnapped by pirates in February. The Nigerian pirates boarded the cargo ship, the Esther C, in international waters, around 130 km off the Nigerian coast on February 7.
The ship “was boarded and ransacked” in the Gulf of Guinea, according to shipping company Carisbrooke, after which the reportedly heavily armed pirates took the three officers prisoner. The ship and the rest of the crew, mainly of Filipino nationality according to local news sources, were then released and allowed to continue their voyage. The company confirmed that the three crew members were “safe and in good spirits” after their month as captives of the pirate crew.
Representatives Carlsbrooke Shipping expressed delight at the news of the crew members’ release and thanked them for their “courage and fortitude,” as well as their families for their patience.
The company also expressed gratitude to various governments and authorities that helped to resolve the situation. However, Carlsbrooke Shipping indicated that it would not be releasing further details over the capture and release of the sailors for fear of encouraging more piracy. There were demands for a ransom to release the hostages, but no details on the ransom’s value, or if it was indeed paid, have been released.
Liam Lever, firstname.lastname@example.org
(photo source: sxc.hu)