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Indian hostages on hijacked ship safe: Company

A shipping company, whose vessel along with 19 Indian and three other seafarers was hijacked 10 days back, on Tuesday said the pirates had established contact with it and the hostages were safe.



New Delhi: A shipping company, whose vessel
along with 19 Indian and three other seafarers was hijacked 10
days back, on Tuesday said the pirates had established contact with
it and the hostages were safe.

The OMCI Shipping, managers of the hijacked chemical
tanker Marida Marguerite, said it was initiating negotiations
with the pirates for securing the safe release of the
hostages.

"Following the most unfortunate hijacking of our managed
vessel, the Marida Marguerite on May 8... we can confirm that
contact has been made by those holding the vessel with the
company and we are assured that the 22 seafarers on board are
safe and being well treated," the OMCI Shipping said in a
statement.

The tanker en-route from Kandla in Gujarat to Antwerp in
Belgium was hijacked some 150 miles south of Salalah in the
Oman and the crew included 19 Indians, 2 Bangladeshis and 1
Ukrainian.

OMCI said the vessel is currently being held off the
town of Garacaad, Somalia and the company is making all
efforts for the safe release of the hostages.

"The company is working closely will all the appropriate
authorities to secure the safe release of our much valued
officers and crew," the statement said.

It said all the families of those on board are being
kept in close touch with the situation and supported by the
company. "Our thoughts go out to them at this difficult and
worrying time," the company said.

With the seizure of the vessel, which was carrying
approximately 11,000 MT of chemicals, the number of Indians
taken hostage by pirates had gone up to 57.

The Shipping Directorate said it was in contact with
the managers of the vessel for regular updates and measures
have been initiated for early and safe release of the crew and
vessel.

An official of the Directorate said an update on the
hostage crisis could be expected in the next three to four
days.

PTI

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