Pirates Free Mothership

A Paradise Navigation products tanker has been freed from the clutches of Somali pirates after ten months in captivity.

The Greek operator confirmed the early morning release of the 72,800-dwt Polar (built 2005) and 23 crew members in a statement, which failed to detail the dialogue between the company and the hijackers and made no mention of ransom.

Paradise told clients: “This was a long and extremely distressing hijack for all the families involved and those in the company trying to secure their release. Owners and managers find it unacceptable that they were virtually left unaided to deal with these criminal acts on the high seas.

“It is a sad indictment of the international initiatives currently in place that they have proved ineffective in stopping piracy. It is also doubtful that the political will exists to effect the necessary initiatives; accordingly the hijacking of vessels such as the Polar and its use as a ‘mothership’, attacking global shipping, is likely to continue unabated.”

All but one of the crew members survived the ordeal. Filipino Prudante Cabral suffered a stroke while onboard shortly after the autumn seizure began to unfold.

As TradeWinds has reported, the panamax tanker was hijacked in the Somali Basin on 30 October 2010 with 24 crew while en route from St Petersburg to Singapore with a cargo of fuel oil. Its captors took it to the Somali coast but have since known to have been using it as a mothership.

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