Feb. 05, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Motor Vessel Faina Released – Pirates Leave the Ship
MANAMA, Bahrain – Earlier this evening Somali pirates released Motor Vessel Faina, which had been held for more four months off the coast of Somalia near Hobyo.
“We are extremely pleased that Motor Vessel Faina and her crew have been released,” said Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. “The United States Navy and our Coalition partners will continue to fight piracy, and work with the international community to find a long-term, shore-based solution to this maritime crime.”
The U.S. Navy has maintained a 24-hour, 7-day a week presence within visual range of the ship since September and is expected to provide humanitarian assistance to the ship and her crew.
Motor Vessel Faina was attacked off the coast of Somalia Sept. 25th. The roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) ship is Belize flagged and operated by “Kaalbye Shipping Ukraine.” While the ship initially had had a crew of 21, the ship's captain reportedly suffered a heart attack shortly after being taken hostage. The pirates refused all requests to turn over the Captain’s remains. The ship's remaining crew includes 17 Ukrainian citizens, as well as two Russians and one Latvian.
Eight ships and nearly 150 merchant mariners are still being held hostage by pirates.