Tuesday, February 09, 2010
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"She sailed free after the last pirate left the vessel this morning," an ECOTERRA marine biologist reported from the central Somali coast.
The Panamanian-flagged 22,000 dwt handymax bulker MV AL KHALIQ was captured on Oct. 22, 2009 around180 miles west of the Seychelles. The crew consists of 24 Indian sailors and two Burmese nationals.
Reuters quoted Somali pirates as saying they received a $3.1 million ransom, local reports speak of $3.2m, paid by the British shipowner.
The vessel is owner-managed by London-based Holbud Ship Management and it is obvious that the British government did not counteract a ransom payment in this case.
Already two weeks ago a release was imminent but postponed in the last minute.
The vessel with over 35,000 metric tons of wheat grain for Mombasa in Kenya has now sailed free from the Somali coast near Harardheere with all crew on board apparently being ok, given the circumstances. Their nightmare is finally over.
The ship, however, had to be refuelled to reach Mombasa, where she is expected in around 5 days time. MT APLHA PINA was sent with fuel from Mombasa and is now escorting the vessel to the Kenyan port.