Free Goddess Finally Freed by Somali Pirates


Update: Recent reports claim that the ransom amount was $2.3 million. The pirate group initially wanted $9 million, but negotiations resulted in a lower amount. The ship’s owners, Free Bulkers SA, did not comment about the ransom payment claims.

After being held for over eight (8) months, Somali pirates have finally released the Greek-owned bulk carrier Free Goddess, along with its 21 crewmen who were aboard the vessel at the time of the hijacking. All of the crewmembers are Filipino.

A reported ransom of $5.7 million was dropped from the air onto the ship on Wednesday. In turn, the vessel was set free and is en route to Oman to refuel, get fresh water, as well as change switch out the crew.

According to Reuters, the ship had been held at Garad, a haven in Puntland often used by pirates.

With the crackdown on maritime piracy by international navies, together with increased security tactics onboard, the number of incidents involving Somali pirates has dramatically decreased. The International Maritime Bureau reports that in the first half of 2012, there were 69 attacks, as opposed to 163 in the same period for 2011. However, anti-piracy officials warn that pirates will again become active following a break in attacks off Somalia now that the monsoon period has ended.


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