Pontus Marine LTD- Leader of fishing industry in Somaliland

Friday, February 27, 2015

Somali pirates release hostages after nearly five years

(Medeshi)- The Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme has welcomed the news that after nearly five years in captivity by Somali pirates the four Thai crew of the fishing vessel Prantalay 12 have been released and are on their way home.

The vessel was taken on 18th April 2010 and, according to the International Maritime Bureau, at 1776 days makes them the longest held hostages. Originally there were 25 crew – 14 Burmese crew were released in August 2011 leaving behind 11, but it is believed that seven have been either killed or have died through illness.
MPHRP Chair Peter Swift (pictured) said: “We are relieved to learn of their safe return. We are grateful to the team that has made this possible whilst putting themselves in danger.  We continue to hope that the remaining 26 hostages that are still being held there will be released soon.”
Roy Paul, Programme Director for MPHRP, said that, “whilst the crew were being held hostage onboard their families have been held hostage at home. The owner paid some small monies to the families originally but stopped after some time.  The families were sustained by MPHRP using its families’ Fund (MPHRF).  The Fund collected donations from MPHRP’s industry partners and will continue to support the families and the crew.”
Anyone who wishes to support these crew members and their families and also other crew members who are affected by piracy should email fund@mphrp.org
Assistant Programme Director of MPHRP, Hennie la Grange, pointed out that the Prantalay 12 release, coming after almost five years, significantly occurs in the same week as the release of piracy’s latest victims. Three seafarers kidnapped only three weeks ago by Nigerian pirates were released on Wednesday after an attack on a super tanker which resulted in the death of its deputy captain. Seafarers clearly continue to face the real and present danger posed by piracy.
The Prantalay 12 crew were assisted by the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Hostage Release Programme and taken to Nairobi where the Thai Embassy had a medical team look after them and arranged their travel papers. The crew are expected to arrive back in Bangkok soon and will be met by Government and Industry officials and MPHRP Welfare Responders.
- Ship Management