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Jul-18-2009 02:46printcomments

Pirates Release German Ship and Crew for Ransom

Crew members aboard two separate vessels are all reported to be in good health.

MV Victoria
The MV Victoria was released last night by pirates off the Somali coastline.

(SALEM, Ore.) - Ecoterra reports that the ship MV Victoria which was seized by pirates off the Somalia coast, was released overnight against a ransom payment of US$ 1.8 million.

The vessel is owned by the German company Intersee GmbH. Ecoterra, which closely monitors the pirate situation off the African coast, reports that this release was long overdue.

Ruxandra Sarchizian is a deck officer who serves on the MV Victoria together with her father, the ship's chief mechanic Hartin Sarchizian. They say they are happy that the nightmare is finally over.

Ecoterra, the Somali Marine & Coastal Monitor, says group says media-wires have falsely reported the release of another German ship, which is in fact still in the hands of the pirates.

Eight pirates are said to have seized the Antigua and Barbuda- flagged cargo ship May 5th 2009 in the Gulf of Aden. The vessel was reportedly on the way to the port of Jeddah.

Eleven Romanian sailors crew the 146-metre ship. They are said to range in age from 22 to 64 and one woman is a crew member. Ecoterra says they are, "all reportedly all right, giving the circumstances."

Ecoterra says taking into account the latest captures and releases, at least 14 foreign vessels (14 if M/S IO EXPLORER is truly "gone") with a total of not less than 203 crew members (of which 44 are confirmed to be Filipinos) and are held in Somali waters.

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as's Executive News Editor.
Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), the first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several other awards including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website, affiliated with Google News and several other major search engines and news aggregators.
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