Nigerian Pirates Release BBC Caribbean Crewmembers
On Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that Nigerian pirates had released the eight crewmembers of the freighter BBC Caribbean, who were abducted from their vessel in the Gulf of Guinea on February 5.
The seafarers are reportedly in good health and are on their way home.
"Russian diplomats were in close contact with the ship-owner’s representatives and Nigerian law enforcers, while maintaining communication by telephone with the captives," the ministry said. "Moscow is grateful to all those who helped to free the Russian citizens."
Some of the crewmembers are from Sevastopol, and city commissioner for human rights Pavel Butsai told Russian state-owned media that the government "[negotiated] with the pirates for redemption, but redemption amount has not been disclosed." He added that the seafarers are already in Frankfurt and "will fly home to the motherland in coming days."
The three remaining crewmembers of the Caribbean – the chief engineer, the second mate and the cadet – managed to evade capture and completed the vessel’s planned voyage to Las Palmas, according to TASS. They have since returned to Russia.
The Caribbean is a 6,000 dwt freighter operated by Briese Schiffahrt, a German heavy lift firm. She had just departed Cameroon for Las Palmas at the time of the attack. Pavel Fedulov, the director of a Briese Shiffart office in St. Petersburg, told Russian outlet RBC that "the armed pirates approached [the vessel] in a boat, captured the crew and left on the boat at the direction of the Nigerian shores."