A group of 15 Indian sailors who were in the captivity of Somali pirates for over 11 months returned to the country in the wee hours of Tuesday.
"We are extremely happy that our men have returned after a 11-month ordeal. It was really tough on them and it is unimaginable what they must have gone through. But we are glad that they have returned safely," said captain Whiterose Dalvi, general manager of V Ship India Private Limited, manager of the captured vessel, MT Savina Caylyn.
The 15 Indian sailors were among 22 seamen who had been held hostage by Somali pirates along with their vessel since February 8 last year.
They were released along with the vessel on December 21. It was not known whether a ransom was paid for their release.
Savina Caylyn, owned by the Italian shipping company Fratelli D'Amato was hijacked 500 miles off the coast of India while on a voyage from Sudan to Malaysia in February last year.
"We need global consolidation if we want to resolve this international menace. India has taken substantial steps in the direction and we hope that other nations follow suit," said Sunil Nair, spokesperson of the National Union of Seafarers Association (NUSI).
Rahul Puranik, 33, worked as a second engineer on the vessel. His father, Arun Puranik said, "It is unimaginable what these men have gone through. Rahul has lost 27kg. The pirates were heartless and they beat these sailors up mercilessly. I am worried about the mental scars this ordeal has left them with."