Philippine-flagged vessel with 23 Filipino crew released

by Kobakila News

MANILA — Philippine-flagged chemical tanker MT Stolt Strength, with 23 Filipino crew, has been released yesterday morning (Manila time), the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs has said.

The vessel is now under the command of Captain Abelardo M. Pacheco and is proceeding to safer waters.

MT Stolt Strength was hijacked by pirates off Somali waters on 10 November 2008.

The Philippine Government has conveyed its appreciation to all parties which helped facilitate the release of the vessel and the regaining of freedom for its long-suffering crew and their families.

The release of MT Stolt Strength brings down the number of Filipino seafarers in the custody of pirates to 85, including three Filipino crew onboard Belgian-owned Pompei last April 18.

Also on Apr. 18, 17 Filipino seafarers on board Greek-owned bulk carrier MV Titan were released.  MV Titan was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden March 19.

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