Cairo-Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Company (AMPTC) announced that the vessel M/T Zirku and its 29 officers and crew held by Somali pirates since March 28 2011 have been safely released and that the ship is now under the control of the Master en route to a safe port.
All crew are reported to be safe and well, though tired and hungry after this 75 day ordeal.
The families of the officers and crew have been informed and share in the company’s relief and happiness over their release. On arrival at the safe port all crew will receive medical checks and treatment if necessary. After debriefing and processing the crew will be sent home by air carrier.
In announcing the release of the crew and vessel, The Management of AMPTC issued the following statement:
“We are absolutely delighted with this result. From the beginning of this ordeal, the safe release of the crew has been our one and only priority. We would like to thank all those involved in achieving this outcome. We also wish to salute the leadership of the Master, Captain Miro Alibasic and the bravery of his crew during these trying times.
Finally, we would also like to offer special acknowledgement of the patience, courage and fortitude of the families of the crew, who have co-operated with us from the start of this terrible incident."
The tanker M/T Zirku was held by pirates for 75 days after being forcibly seized off the coast of Somalia
in the Gulf of Aden
For security and privacy reasons, AMPTC will not be issuing additional details regarding the incident or the crew and vessel’s release.