Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Somali Pirates Release Vessel

$2.7 million ransom paid
Shipping News Feature

SOMALIA - The Hansa Stavanger, a German-flagged container ship that was seized by Somali pirates in April, has been released.

According to Reuters the ship’s owners paid a ransom of $2.7 million for the release of the vessel and its 24 crew. Scheduled to be released last week, the ship was held for longer than expected as the pirates increased their demands.

In a press release Frank Leonhardt, managing director of Leonhardt & Blumberg, owner of the vessel, said:

“The vessel MV Hansa Stavanger and her crew were released in the evening of Monday, 3rd August 2009 from the pirates at the coast of Somalia. The vessel is presently sailing to the port of Mombasa in Kenya, where she is expected to arrive at Thursday, 6th August 2009.

We have spoken to all crew members, who are fortunately uninjured and in good health. On arrival of the vessel in the port of Mombasa a team from our management company will take care of the seamen before they will fly back to their home countries soonest possible.

I am happy that after 4 months, an unbelievable long time of suffering for the seamen and their relatives, this hijacking has finally ended. I can imagine how difficult it has been for the relatives to be patient during all these days.”

(pic: Courtesy of Leonhardt-Blumberg)