UPDATE: Pirates Release Four Solarte Crew Members
The four seamen kidnapped from a Russian refrigerated cargo ship off the Niger Delta on October 19 have been released, Deputy Chancellor of the Lithuanian Government Rimantas Vaitkus told news agency ELTA.
As a reminder, the four crew members, two Lithuanian and two Ukrainian seamen, were taken hostage near Port Harcourt in Nigerian waters. The Russian manager of the vessel Solarte conducted negotiations with the pirates and paid a ransom for the crew’s safe return, according to news media.
Vaitkus added that the owner of the vessel said that all of the freed hostages were being examined at a local hospital and were expected to return home soon.
The four seamen were kidnapped out of 19 crew members on board the vessel.
U.K.-based maritime intelligence company Dryad Maritime said that this was the first incident reported at sea off the Niger Delta in five months.