Four seafarers, who were taken hostage during an attack on a German containership off Nigeria a month ago, have been released unharmed, according to agency reports.
The operator of the 1,740 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) the Hansa Marburg (built 2007), Leonhardt & Blumberg, said that the Ukrainian, Russian and Kiribati nationals are “safe and in good spirits” following 31 days in captivity.
In a statement, the company thanked the family members of the men for their “patience and courage” and praised the government agencies that assisted in bringing what it described as a “difficult situation” to a close.
The Hamburg-based shipmanager did not indicate whether a ransom was paid, which may not come as a surprise given concerns that such information could encourage further criminal acts of this kind in a region where incidents of armed kidnappings are on the rise.
The Hansa Marburg, which according to the Equasis database is owned by a German KG (limited partnership), was boarded by gunmen on April 22, 2013, some 130 miles south-west of Malabo in Equatorial Guinea.
It would be recalled that the vessel and 14 other crewmembers who were on board during the late night raid escaped unscathed.