Somali pirates release 7 Filipino seafarers

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed Friday that a vessel with seven Filipino seafarers onboard was released by Somali pirates on March 1.

Bermuda-flagged and German-owned cargo vessel M/V EMS River was hijacked on 27 December 2010, about 175 nautical miles northeast of Salalah, Oman.

The local manning agency of the vessel said that the crew called up their families after their release and they are now sailing towards Salalah.

The DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (DFA-OUMWA) is coordinating with the manning agency and the vessel owner on arrangements for the repatriation of the Filipino seafarers.

At present, there are 121 Filipino seafarers onboard 11 vessels being held captive off Somalia.

The DFA-OUMWA continues to coordinate closely with the concerned Philippine Embassies, the vessels’ principals and the local manning agencies for the early and safe release of the other seafarers.

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