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Twenty-two hostages released from Royal Grace

The Officers and crew of the Panama registered chemical tanker, Royal Grace, which was hijacked by Somali pirates almost exactly one year ago, have been released from their terrible ordeal. It is believed that an undisclosed sum was paid in ransom to the criminal gang which has been holding them since 2nd March 2012.The hostage group included nineteen Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi seafarers and three Nigerians.Further details are awaited.This development reduces the number of hostages still incarcerated in Somalia waters to just over one hundred; sixteen on the M/V Albedo, which was hijacked more than two years ago, twenty-six on M/S Symri, held since May last year and it is believed that the crews of three dhows and three fishing vessels are also being held against their will by Somali gangs.Commenting on the release, a spokesperson for the anti-piracy advocacy group said, 'The release of these captive seafarers is to be celebrated after such an appalling length of illegal and inhuman captivity. We fervently hope that the other hostages will follow them to freedom very soon.'Although there has been a dramatic fall in the incidences of pirate attack in recent months, this event serves to remind us that Somali ...

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SOS adds support to this year’s Day of the Seafarer

On Monday 25 June SOS SaveOurSeafarers is calling on its supporters to join in the activities to celebrate the second International Day of the Seafarer on Monday25 June.This global recognition of the global seafaring community, organised by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) will focus on the positive influence seafarers have on the daily lives of ordinary people, through maritime transport.Alastair Evitt, Chair of the international shipping industry campaign against Somali piracy SOS SaveOurSeafarers says: "This is a great opportunity to acknowledge the invaluable role that seafarers play in feeding, clothing and fuelling us. It further serves to highlight the effect that Somali pirates can have as they disrupt the supply lines our seafarers work so tirelessly to maintain. We encourage everyone to get involved and support the Day of the Seafarer."Some 90 per cent of global trade is transported by sea at some stage during the journey from its place of origin to its final destination. The objective for the Day of the Seafarer is to help the general public become aware of this and to thank seafarers for their contribution.On 25 June, IMO wants people via social networks to highlight and share with their connections, an object in their ...

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