Tuvalu News


August 3, 2009

Hamburg - The German shipping company Leonhardt & Blumberg late Monday confirmed the release of its container ship Hansa Stavanger and crew of 24 from the hands of Somali pirates. Pirates released the ship after payment of ransom in the amount of 2.7 million dollars according to the Somali pirates.

The 20,000-ton ship was set free off the coast of Somalia and was on its way to Mombasa, Kenya, where it was expected to arrive on Thursday, said the company's head Frank Leonhardt in a statement.

Leonhardt said the negotiations with the pirates were "extremely difficult" and that his main priority was the safe return of the 24 crew members.

"I am relieved and happy and celebrate with the crew members and their family members that this interminably long four months as hostages are over," he said.

He said he had confirmed through a telephone connection to the ship that the crew members were doing well, all things considered.

The ship's crew includes five Germans, three Russians, two Filipinos, two Ukrainians and 12 persons from the South Pacific nation of Tuvalus.

After being cared for in Mombasa, the crew would be sent on their way home to their respective countries, Leonhardt said.

Source: Earth Times

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