Rejoice for the crew of MV Blida
The Seamen’s Church Institute of New York and New Jersey rejoices at the news of the M/V Blida’s release from Somali pirates.
The SCI’s website reports:
Somali pirates released the Algerian-registered bulk carrier MV Blida from captivity on November 4, 2011. Somali hijackers captured the 20,586-ton bulk carrier, crewed by 17 Algerians, 6 Ukrainians, 2 Filipinos, 1 Jordanian and 1 Indonesian, on January 1, 2011, approximately 150 nautical miles southeast of the port of Salalah, Oman. The pirates released two of the crew, 1 Algerian and 1 Ukrainian, in October for health reasons.
The SCI’s Center for Seafarers’ Rights earlier signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ukrainian Consulate in New York on assisting Ukrainian seafarers.
Douglas B. Stevenson, ICMA’s Chairman and the Head of the SCI’s Center for Seafarers Rights, writes:
In June 2011, the relatives of the Ukrainian crew held hostage on the MV Blida requested SCI’s advice and assistance on how to deal with their frustrations surrounding their loved ones’ lengthy captivity. The Center for Seafarers’ Rights served as a sounding board for the family members and provided them with advice based on our clinical study of the effects of piracy on seafarers. In response to one of our emails, a family wrote: “Dear Mr. Stevenson, thank you very much for your message, which is greatly appreciated. To tell you the truth, you are one of the only people who react immediately on our appeal and misfortune.” In September, the Rev. David M. Rider and I met with some of these families in Odessa, Ukraine.
ICMA adds our voice to that of the SCI in rejoicing with all those who have been praying for the MV Blida’s crew members release.