The three seafarers who were kidnapped in early May from Grebe Bulker, a bulker vessel managed by Eagle Bulk Ship Management Singapore, have been rescued, the company confirmed.
World Maritime News report that the vessel was boarded by pirates whilst in the inner anchorage of the Port of Owendo, Gabon, on May 2, 2023 after arriving in the port from Nigeria. The vessel had 20 crew members on board prior to the kidnapping. Based on the company’s initial report, once it was discovered that the crew members were missing, the ship was searched, and the local port authorities were informed.
“Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. is pleased to report the safe return of the three seafarers who were kidnapped from the M/V GREBE BULKER while the vessel was anchored in the Port of Owendo, Gabon, on May 2, 2023. The crewmembers are currently receiving medical exams and will be repatriated and reunited with their loved ones in a few days,” a company statement reads.
“Since the incident occurred, Eagle Bulk has worked closely with the relevant authorities, professional advisors and our staff, all of whom helped to resolve this situation, and we are extremely grateful for their collective support.“
Eagle Bulk did not disclose the terms of the release of their crew members. However, it is usual practice for kidnappers to seek ransom from shipowners for the safe return of their seafarers.
The latest incident is the third incident over the recent period involving vessel hijacking in the region, highlighting the need for increased vigilance and extra security on ships.