Three of the four abducted crew members – among them a Greek national – of the Greek-owned tanker “ELKA ARISTOTLE” have been released following negotiations with the pirates, it was announced on Friday. One crew member from the Philippines had died due to health issues, the shipping company said.
After 39 days of being held as hostages, the pirates released a 20-year-old Greek, one crew member from Georgia and one from the Philippines.
The oil tanker was attacked by armed pirates off the coast of Togo, West Africa, 11 nautical miles from the port of Lome on November 4.
Four of the 24-member crew were abducted.
The ship’s managing company European Product Carriers LTD said that the families of the abducted crew members have been informed and the necessary procedures for the return of the three to their home countries have been initiated.
The three have undergone the necessary medical examination and are reportedly in good health. They have testified to local authorities.
The release of the hostages was a big relief for their families. The parents of the young Greek would not hide their joy and eagerness to see their child again.
“I will finally see my son again, I just hope he is in good health,” the father told Greek media.
The young man was a student at the Merchant Naval Academy and did his training as engineer in the tanker.
UPDATE: He arrived in Athens on Saturday and was welcome by his family that had traveled from Messologhi, West Greece, for this precious moment.
“Now I am fine, but I was very scared. They treated me well, because for them I was money,” the young man said upon his arrival.