By Maxwell Nkansah
The five members of a crew onboard Ghanaian-registered fishing vessel Atlantic Princess captured by pirates off the Atlantic coast have been released.
The five – all expatriates – were captured on Wednesday, May 19 around 7:00pm by five armed pirates. The pirates wielding AK 47 rifles attacked the vessel south of Tema, within Ghana’s territorial waters.
On Wednesday, June 30, the Ecowas Multinational Maritime Centre announced that all members of the crew – a Korean Captain, the Chief Officer, Second Chief officer, Chief Engineer, all Chinese, and a Russian Boatswain’s mate – have been released after 40 days in captivity.
The crew members are reported to be safe and in good health condition, the Ecowas MMCC report said. The five were released after successful negotiation and payment of an undisclosed amount of money to the captors.
The Ghanaian High Commission in Nigeria is currently facilitating processes for the successful repatriation of the crew to Ghana. They are expected to arrive in Ghana on Tuesday, July 6. Meanwhile, the crew onboard Tuna-fishing vessel IRIS-S kidnapped on Monday, May 31 is yet to be released. They have so far spent 30 days in captivity and are also expected to be released in the coming days.