MV Ariana Finally Truly Free From Somali Pirates

FINGAL HEAD, Australia -- The Greek-owned vessel with 24 Ukrainians on board, had been called free already four times before - but it was not true, neither two month ago, nor one month ago or three days ago or yesterday.

Somalia piracy

Even yesterday a wire-service as well as the owner company said the vessel had been released, while it was actually still held near Hobyo at the Central Somali coast.

“The ship was released a few hours ago and the pirates have left,” Spyros Minas, the head of Alloceans Shipping, had told Reuters in Athens. “The ship is now sailing to the Middle East.”

The ship belongs to All Oceans shipping in Greece and it is managed by Seven Seas Maritime in London, who both refused to explain why it took so long to free the crew and vessel.

Analysts also wondered how Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko could hail the delayed and often failing release operation a success.

The Maltese-flagged ship was seized in May 2009, while heading from Brasilia to Middle East. The ship-owners paid large amount of ransom for the vessel to be released, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko stated December 10, 2009.

According to the Head of Ukrainian Foreign Intelligence Service Nikolai (aka Mykola) Malomuzh, saying also that a higher ransom had been handed over, the crew members are in good health and Ariana will sail to the nearest port within 5-7 days.

However, "there were some problems with ship's engine", Interfax Ukraine reported.

Luckily the soy-laden carrier sailed truly free Friday evening after having been held hostage for 6 month after it had received not only the ransom in an amount which was reported to match the latest demand as revealed earlier from the ground and not the lesser amount as said by a statement from the owner.

More importantly the ill-fated ship could only leave after it had received again fuel from the Chinese-owned MV DE XIN HAI.

“As of now the boat is under the protection of Portuguese ship Al Vars Carbol. In five to seven days the boat is likely to arrive at the nearest safe port,” the Ukrainian presidential press service reported.

Finally also the 24 strong Ukrainian crew is free, including the two female sailors, of which especially one lady in serious condition had been abandoned by the Ukrainian government, their open and covert officials and the ship-owner, who didn't facilitate her medical evacuation.

The spin, however, produced by the crew of the Spanish vessel FV ALAKRANA concerning a 11 or 12 year old girl being on board ("with blond hairs and blue eyes") in addition to the two women was a hoax, as we had revealed earlier, and was invented to serve as tool to coerce the Spanish public and European taxpayers to opt for more aggressive military actions - and the financial means for it - against Somalia.

It will be interesting to see how the Spanish judge will handle the obvious lies the Spanish sailors had told him concerning the sea-jacked bulk carrier, since they reportedly never even set foot on MV ARIANA, but told the Spanish court otherwise, causing through the Spanish media thereby also serious harm and grief to the Ukrainian families of the seafarers.

All 24 Ukrainian crew luckily survived the ordeal and the vessel will most likely dock in Mombasa, Kenya, according to Serhiy Borodenkov, the deputy director of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's consular service department.

"I emphasize that this will most likely be Mombasa, although we are only considering this [as a] possibility. It's not definite yet," he said at a press conference in Kyiv on Thursday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Valeriy Chaly, confirmed that the Ariana is being escorted by a military frigate allocated under the European Union's anti-piracy mission, Operation Atalanta.

Chaly said that there is practically no diesel or drinking water on board the ship. He said that all of the ship's crewmembers would return home by the New Year.

Source: Australia World News