MUMBAI, Jan 10 (IANS): A Norwegian ship, with 20 Indian crew members, was hijacked by Somali pirates Tuesday morning off the coast of Nigeria but freed from their control soon after by security forces, a maritime authority said here.
The crew members of the ship, MV Spar Rigel, locked themselves in the citadel - a safe house - on board and sent an SOS to the security forces patrolling the area, according to the directorate-general of shipping (DGS).
The ship was now free of the pirates and the crew, which also included a Ukrainian, were safe, the DGS said.
On Feb 8 last year, a ship, MT Savina Caylyn, with 17 Indian crewmen was hijacked. The ship has now been released and the crew members returned home via Fujairah after an 11-month ordeal.
Besides these incidents, another 36 Indians are on board four hijacked ships. MV Iceberg-1 of Panama hijacked Mar 3, 2010 has six Indians abroad, MT Fairchem Bogey of Marshall Islands hijacked Aug 20, 2011 has 21 Indians among its crew, MV Al Bedo of Malaysia hijacked Nov 26, 2010 has two Indians and MT Enrico Ievoli of Italy hijacked Dec 27, 2011 has seven crew members from India.
Another seven Indian crew members from ship MV Asphalt Venture are being held hostage on land.