I though it was a moot point to talk about the piracy situation in Somalia, since the coverage was so generally extensive in the industry and mainstream media. The Faina, a Russian roro carrying weapons, was released just a few days ago at a cost of 3.2 million as ransom. Its cargo of weapons and its dubious destinations, is sure to go on causing much human suffering, which the area seems to be in no short supply of, and perhaps will perpetuate the pirate trade itself. Life of irony.
An email came across my desktop, alerting me to a fascinating article in the UK's Sunday Mail, regarding the ordeal suffered by the seafarers on board the Vela Marine (Saudi Aramco) crude oil tanker Sirius Star. Seems the Second Engineer on board, as Scotsman named James Grady, managed to keep a daily diary of the ordeal, and take some pictures as well, all in secret. He paints a gritty picture of the events in a plain speaking engineer talk, we all can relate to.
He seems to feel that the whole ordeal was just part of a normal contract. Granted, on board a ship for four months can often brings about many "adventures", but I suspect there is some psychological trauma that has not been fully appreciated yet.
The ships was released once a ransom of about 3 million was paid and delivered to the ship by a small plane and parachute. Subsequently, the departing pirate vessel overturned and five pirates reportedly lost their lives. On board, Mr Brady tells the paper, no tears were shed at the news. I would certainly be incline to feel the same way.
See the pictures and read the fascinating story on their 57 day ordeal, by clicking here. You can read a lot more on the vessel and its ordeal here. Here is the 2008 piracy incident map from ICC.
You can view videos bits of the interview with James Grady here.
Labels: around the world, Oil and Gas, Piracy, seafarers, Tanker