On September fifteenth, “MV Stolt Valor”, a chemical tanker sure for Mumbai from Suez was hijacked by 15 Somali pirates within the Gulf of Aden. Shipping trade is nicely conscious of the incident. Amongst 22 crews onboard MV Stolt Valor, 18 crews are Indians, two are Filipinos, one is Bangladeshi and one hails from Russia. Though, all hostages are reportedly unharmed and safe, in keeping with the DGS press launch on Sep 16th; family members of all 18 Indian crews are nonetheless traumatized and anxious concerning the release of their pricey ones.
Based on an trade supply, the hijackers have demanded a ransom of USD 2.5 million and negotiations between hijackers and homeowners of the ship is happening. A press release issued on Sep 18th by the house owners, confirmed an appointment of an expert negotiator by the Stolt’s house owners to talk with the hijackers to make sure the life and security of their crew members and to make them dwelling as quickly as doable.
In a latest transfer on Oct seventh, the relations of the 18 crews participated in a march headed to the workplace of Directorate Normal of shipping to appeal for an pressing action for their launch. Ms Seema Goyal, wife of the Stolt Grasp Capt. Prabhat Goyal took the heroic step not only to place forward the Stolt concern to DGS, but additionally taken the battle to the Central Government also.
In Mumbai protest march, relations of MV Stolt Valor crews were accompanied by the organizer of the march Indian seafarer’s federation (ISF), including NUSI & MUI.
In the meantime, members of the Indian Maritime fraternity accompanying the members of the family carried out a nationwide protest march towards the Govt. in help of a fast resolution and get again the crews at residence in varied places resembling Chennai, Diu, Kochi, Port Blair, Raigad, Tuticorin, Visakhapatnam, Nhava, Valsad, Kolkata and Lakshadweep.
Empathizing Ms. Goyal and relations of the 18 Indian crews, Mr. Venkatarammana, Dy basic of DGS stated that he would convey the message from the households to the central and would request the Govt. to alleviate the tense scenario as early as potential.
Reacting on the difficulty through the World Maritime Day celebration, Mr. APVN Sharma, Secretary of shipping emphasized on discovering a long run solution. Replying to the anguish cries of the crew’s relations Mr. Sharma stated that allow us give a while for negotiations and he assured the family members of conveying their message to Govt.
In any case those protests and anguish hues and cries, crews of MV Stolt Valor are nonetheless confined by the pirates and families should not seeing any ray of hope on government assertion and activities.
In a latest updates from the pirates on 14th Oct, it comes to know that Somali pirates issued a deadline of forty eight hours to pay the ransom; otherwise they’ll kill all the crews. In the meantime India government in an announcement issued in October 14 has allowed the Indian Navy to patrol the Somali waters to make sure that the security of Indian sailors is just not compromised. Patrolling of Indian warships in Golf of Aden near Somalia has begun for the protection of Indian service provider vessel ships transiting by way of the world. But the destiny of 18 Indian sailors of MV Stolt Valor is still hanging within the stability.
Unfortunately, MV Stolt Valor was not the final case of sea-hijacking off Somalia coast. After MV Stolt Valor, Somali pirates have hijacked another Greek ship ‘Centauri’ and a Hong Kong flagged Nice Creation. Including these two, Somali pirates had hijacked 14 vessels off Somalia coast since July 20, ’08.
As an Worldwide output of the piracy issue, EU revealed its plan to ramp up naval operations in the Gulf of Aden. Responding to challenge, Noel Choong of the IMB (Worldwide Maritime Bureau) stated to Associated Press that “Pirates are beginning to assault now on the eastern coast of Somalia. We advise ships to stay at the very least 250 miles from the coast and even then, they have to preserve a strict watch.”