Stolt Valor sails free on its way to Mumbai
The ship’s Captain PK Goyal told his wife via satellite phone from the Gulf of Aden that they are coming back at a speed of seven knots and there is still apprehension as they are not out of the danger zone, reports Abhinav Madhwal.See the map | Two months ordealworld Updated: Nov 17, 2008 01:42 IST
Somali pirates who had captured the MV Stolt Valor, a Japanese-owned cargo ship with 18 Indians, one Russian, two Filipinos and a Bangladeshi on board, released it on Sunday after ransom was paid. This brought to an end 62 days in captivity for the sailors, but their worries have not ended.
“We are coming back at a speed of seven knots and there is still apprehension as we are not out of the danger zone. The ship is now on its own and the crew still fear for their lives as they are not out of the danger zone yet. Two people from the ship are quite sick,” the ship’s Captain PK Goyal told his wife via satellite phone from the Gulf of Aden.
His words have dampened the celebrations.
It was 9.23 on Sunday morning when Seema Goyal, Captain Goyal’s wife, got a call on her mobile from Captain Kishore Rajvanshi in Mumbai. The fleet manager, who was close to the negotiations for the ship’s release, said good morning. “What’s good in the morning for the past 61 days, just say morning,” Goyal replied.
The ship has been released, he told her. Her exclamation of joy brought the rest of the family running. As the family members closed in to listen, Rajvanshi said the ship had been released two hours earlier and was on its way to Mumbai.
It will reach in 3-4 days if all goes well.
The hijackers had demanded a ransom of $ 6 million for the release of the crew and later had brought the amount down to USD 2.5 million, said National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) spokesperson Sunil Nair.
Nair said an amount between one and 2.5 million USD was paid for release of the hijacked ship.
With PTI inputs