Pirates Release German Ship, Remaining Crew Returns Home

By MarEx 2011-04-13 15:15:23


The Antigua and Barbuda flagged BELUGA NOMINATION has finally been released from pirate control, after being hijacked on January 22.

On the day of the attack, the ship’s crew of 12 sent out distress signals, locked themselves in the citadel and steered towards the Seychelles in hopes of being rescued. A rescue vessel from the Seychelles coast guard took 72 hours to arrive and failed to take control of the vessel. Eventually the pirates cut into the citadel and captured the crew.

Turmoil aboard the multipurpose heavy-lift project carrier made headlines in early February when owner, Beluga Shipping, reported that one crew member had been shot dead and four others had escaped to the open sea in a lifeboat. Only two of the four were found and rescued by the Danish frigate Esbern Snare. Seven crewmembers, including the ship’s master continued to be held captive until the vessel was released Wednesday.

Reuters reports that pirates are claiming a $5 million ransom was paid for the release of the vessel.

Beluga Shipping’s spokesperson refused to comment on whether a ransom was paid and would not elaborate on the conditions of the seven remaining crew.