DFA confirms release of 15 Filipino seamen
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday confirmed the release of 15 Filipino crew members on board the cargo ship MV Rosalia D’Amatao, hijacked by Somali pirates on April 21 in the Indian Ocean.
DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez said the local manning agency relayed the news of the release, which took place on November 25.
The Italian-flagged and -owned bulk carrier had a total of 21 crew, 15 of them Filipinos, when it was hijacked by the pirates about 350 nautical miles east of the southern Omani city of Salalah. The ship, which was carrying soybeans, was on its way from Paranagua, Brazil to Bandar Imam Khomeini, Iran.
After its release, the Amato sailed toward Salalah port, where the crew underwent medical checkup and debriefing.
“The families of the Filipino crew were already informed of their release. [Their] repatriation [has] yet to be scheduled by the principal and manning agency,” Hernandez said in a statement.
To date, 26 Filipino seafarers in three vessels have remained captives of Somali pirates, preying on the Indian Ocean sea lanes, according to the DFA.
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