MUMBAI: A group of 15 Indian sailors who were in the captivity of Somali pirates for over 11 months returned to the country in the wee hours today.
They were among 22 seamen who had been held hostage by Somali pirates along with their vessel M T Savina Caylyn since February 8 last year.
The crew was released along with the vessel on December 21. It was not known whether a ransom was paid for their release.
It was an emotional reunion for the sailors as they came out of the international airport here. They were received by their family members and peers from the sailors community.
Savina Caylyn, owned by the Italian shipping company Fratelli D'Amato was hijacked 500 miles off the coast of India while on a voyage from Sudan to Malaysia in February last year. There were 22 seamen on board when the vessel was taken hostage of which 17 were Indians and five Italians. All of them have been released. Two Indian sailors returned by a different flight, according to sources.
"A group of 15 sailors returned to Mumbai this morning from Dubai, where they had gone following their release last month. The remaining two have gone probably to other Indian cities," National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) spokesperson Sunil Nair told PTI this afternoon.