The bulk carrier CAPT. STEFANOS (sometimes spelled CAPT STEPHANOS) was released by its hijackers.
Mv CAPT. STEFANOS released by hijackers after 11 weeks.
The East Africa Seafarers Assistance Program (SAP) issued a statement today confirming that the bulk carrier CAPT. STEFANOS (sometimes spelled CAPT STEPHANOS) was released by its hijackers yesterday.
The vessel was captured by Somali pirates in September along with her crew of 19 in the Gulf of Aden.
"The Greek ship-owner's company Chartworld Shipping Corporation (Athens) finally confirmed that the Greek ship MV CAPT STEFANOS, with a Ukrainian citizen as a crew member, one Chinese and 17 Filipino seafarers, captured by Somali pirates September 21, was set free following 11 weeks of captivity." said the statement.
Crew members are reported to be in good health and the ship is said to be heading for the port of Brindisi in Italy.
The EU has now officially started maritime operations in the Gulf of Aden to try and combat the rising number of pirate attacks. Over 330 sailors on board some 15 ships are still held hostage by gunmen operating from the lawless regions of Somalia. Increasingly the crews of ships are seen as the best bargaining counters by the pirates, as opposed to the ships and cargos.
However, the capture of the SIRIUS STAR, which is still being held, and its cargo of $100,000 of oil has shook many as has the taking hostage of the mv FAINA which is loaded with Soviet-era armaments.