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Freed Singapor-flagged Vessel en route to Mombasa

Owned by PIL, one of the largest shipowners in Asia, 24,637-tonne MV Kota Wajar, which was hijacked on the 15th October this year, is now en route to Mombasa. 



"All 21 crew are safe and well. This has been a long and frightening ordeal for the crew and their families," says Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarer's Assistance Programme.

The Canadian Navy is providing escort, medical assistance and supplies as well as logistical support.

The HMCS Fredericton caught up with the MV Kota Wajar off Somalia's coast Monday afternoon shortly after it was released. Canadian sailors boarded the ship, the Canadian military said in a statement.

"It was very fortunate that we were in proximity to the Kota Wajar and able to act as fast as we could to provide them assistance as they cleared Somali waters" said Cmdr. Steve Waddell, the HMCS Fredericton's commanding officer, in the statement. "As my team prepared for the mission, it helped to understand the plight that this crew just endured and that we could offer just a little bit of humanity to them."

The HMCS Fredericton is currently deployed on a six-month mission with NATO in the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and Horn of Africa to conduct counter piracy and counter terror operations.

"If anyone ever needed a reason to understand why Fredericton is here, it was made clear (Monday)," said Waddell, in the statement.

"No law abiding sailor should ever have to endure what these men have endured."

"Also the three Indian members on board are safe and will return home very soon," the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) general secretary Abdulgani Y Serang said. The three Indians on board include a chief engineer and a cadet.

ECOTERRA Intl. has been informed that the shipping company is sending representatives to Mombasa to receive the Captain and the crew of their vessel to ensure that they receive the best possible care after their ordeal and that the crew will be repatriated at the earliest opportunity. The vessel is expected at Mombasa on New Year.

The family of Mr Raghubir Singh Pathania, the Chief Engineer of the hijacked Pacific International Lines (PIL) ship confirmed that Mr. Pathania had a phone talk with his parents, saying that he had been released and was safe. The ship had remained in the custody of the pirates for over three months and 13 days. Mr Pritam Singh Pathania, the father of Chief Engineer, said the crew would be flown to their respective home countries from Mombasa.

Chief Engineer Pathania had been working with PIL shipping company for the last 10 years but it was for the first time that he and his team faced such a pitiable situation.

Deepika Pathania, wife of the Chief Engineer, thanked the local and international media for taking up their case that resulted in the release of her husband.

She also thanked the Prime Minister, the Union External Affairs Minister and Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal for taking up their case with the world community for the release of the hijacked ship and the safe return of all members of the crew.
© Ecoterra -


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