- Nigeria Pirates' Captives Alive - Russian Foreign Ministry
- Pirates Take Russian Hostage Sailors off British Ship
- Sea Piracy Drops to Five-Year Low in 2012 - Report
- Russian Rear Admiral Assesses Pirate Threat
MOSCOW, March 12 (RIA Novosti) - Three sailors - two Russians and a Romanian - captured by pirates from a British-owned vessel off the coast of west Africa last month have been released, the ship’s operator has reported.
“Carisbrooke Shipping, operators of the general cargo vessel "Esther C", is pleased and relieved to report that the three officers who were taken from the vessel by armed men 80 miles off the south coast of Nigeria in February and held hostage, have now been released,” the operator said in a statement Monday.
In early February, Nigerian pirates seized the British-owned 8,000 ton cargo ship MV Esther C off Cameroon in the Gulf of Guinea. Two Russians and a Romanian crew member, who were on board, were taken from the vessel as hostages, Carisbrooke Shipping said last month. The ship later resumed its voyage, with the remaining crew of nine Filipinos reported by the company to be safe and unharmed.
“The vessel was boarded and ransacked by heavily armed pirates in international waters south of the Gulf Of Guinea on 7th February before they made off with the 3 crew members,” the operator said Monday. “The three officers were confirmed as being safe and in good spirits on March 11 after 31 days in captivity.”
The company also thanked the three officers “for their courage and fortitude” and extended its “appreciation to the governments, government agencies and other professionals who assisted in bringing this difficult situation to a close.”
The pirates were earlier reported to demand ransom from the ship owners. It was not immediately clear whether their demands were fulfilled.
In mid-February pirates attacked another vessel, Armada Tuah 101, capturing six crewmembers, including one Russian. The sailors were freed in a week.
West Africa is one of the world's most dangerous areas for piracy, according to the International Chamber of Commerce's Maritime Bureau.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: The Russian Cities With the Best Quality of Life
Infographics: Powerful Ship-Borne Laser System
Cartoons: Polar Explorer Day
The current contract portfolio of Russian arms exporters is worth about $46 billion. Annual exports total $15 billion, and this will ensure uninterrupted deliveries for the next three years, even in the worst-case scenario. The list of the main buyers of Russian weapons is unlikely to change drastically.