Owner of the hijacked ship, MV Stolt Valor, have hired professional negotiators to talk with suspected Somalian pirates for release of the ship and its 22-member crew.
The ship, operated by Hong Kong-based Stolt Tankers, has a crew of 22 members, including 18 Indians of which 12 are from Mumbai. Indian authorities were alerted by Singapore’s Information Sharing Centre, which received a call from an Indian cadet on board saying 15 pirates had boarded the vessel and were taking it somewhere along the Somalian coast.
Sanjeev Dutta, from Ebony Services Limited, which looks after India operators of the recruiting company Fleet Management Limited, confirmed the development but pleaded ignorance of the time and place of negotiations.
A statement by the Directorate General Of Shipping, Mumbai, said all crew on board are safe. A statement by Ebony Ship Management, Mumbai, said family members of the 22 crew members have been informed of the incident. They also disclosed that the 2-3 members of the crew have been allowed by the hijackers to talk to the office of the managers but all are reported to have been safe.
The Directorate General Of Shipping have also alerted the Indian Coast Guard to liaise with Somalia’s Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre.