Pirate-Hijacked Filipinos and Indonesian on Norway-Vietnam Tanker Released

The crew on MV Longchamp, a gas tanker on it way from Norway to Vietnam, who were hijacked by Somali pirates off the Horn of Africa in January was released Saturday with all 13 Filipino and Indonesian crew members unharmed, a company that manages the vessel said.

According to the The Associated Press, The shipping-company Bernhard Schulte states the ship was released Saturday the 28th of March and had 12 Filipino crew members and an Indonesian second engineer on board. The management company said that it was taken down Somalia’s east coast after the hijacking.

Pirate attacks off the Somali coastline hit unprecedented levels in 2008, when pirates made 111 attacks and seized 42 vessels, mostly in the Gulf of Aden — one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. Seven ships have been seized so far this year, although there were roughly 10 times as many attacks in January and February 2009 as there were over the same period last year. There have been almost daily attacks in March. Somalia has not had a functioning government since clan-based militias overthrew a socialist dictator in 1991.

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