Militia Release Eastern Pacific Shipping’s Tanker in Cameroon
Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) has issued a statement confirming that its managed Singapore-flagged tanker Barents Sea was released by the Cameroonian armed militia on February 5. The 26 crew on board are reported safe and unharmed.
The company says the vessel was unlawfully seized by the private militia armed with AK-47s last week at the Sonara Refinery in Limbe. The ship has now completed cargo discharge and departed the port of Limbe.
“EPS wishes to thank the crew for their unwavering strength, resilience and professionalism throughout the dreadful encounter. We particularly would like to thank the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Republic of Singapore Navy, the various Embassies representing the ship’s crew as well as the Cameroonian authorities for their support,” said EPS in a statement.
“DSC Marine’s conduct and blatant disregard for local and international laws have proven to be futile. We sincerely hope that future disagreements can be resolved without resorting to hostile means.”
Cameroon's only crude oil refinery had been shut down since late January due to a lack of crude oil. The Barents Sea has been anchored off the coast since mid-December due to a financial dispute, her cargo still unloaded.