Kiran excited to see family members

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Mangalore, Oct 17 (UNI) It was a joyous moment for the family of 28-year-old Jeevan Kiran D'Souza, one of the Indian crew members on board the hijacked ship 'M T Stolt Valor,' to see him alive after he was released from the captivity of Somalian sea pirates.

Kiran, one of the crew members of the cargo vessel, captured by Somalian pirates, who arrived at the Bajpe airport here today, said he had lost hope of coming back alive to rejoin his family members.

All the crew members were under the watchful eyes of gun-totting pirates, Kiran said after he was received at the airport by his family members and well-wishers.

Parents and other family members were overjoyed on seeing Kiran when he emerged out of the aircraft.

Speaking to UNI, Kiran said he had lost about 15 kg since he was held by the pirates.

Though he reached his native place, he was yet to overcome the mental trauma which he had suffered during the captivity.

Narrating the harrowing moments he faced along with his colleagues, Kiran said his ship, sailing to Poland, was all on a sudden hijacked in the wee hours of August 21 by the pirates.

Altogether 16 pirates, who came in two speed boats, started firing in the air to threaten the crew.

After boarding the vessel, they demanded money from the ship captain, who paid them 10,000 Dollars which he had. But they were not satisfied and demanded more.

They told the captain to take the ship to an unknown spot and changed its direction more than four times to take it to a place called Eyl.

The condition of the crew members worsened after food and water in the ship got exhausted within two days since the pirates hijacked it. Later, the crew members were served with two slices of bread in the morning and in the evening and a little rice in the afternoon.

The rice was also stopped after a few days.

Some of the crew members became weak after some days and found it hard even to walk around the ship, the sailor said.

The pirates disconnected all the satellite communication systems within two days, he said adding a total of 25 abductors looked after the ship on shift and they appeared to have been trained in the navy as they were found systematic in their work.

The abductors, who knew only Somalian language had a translator with them, who was well-versed both in Somalian and English languages.

He was working as a mediator between chief of the abductors and the Iranian government, he said.

After the Iranian government paid ransom as demanded by the pirates, they did not harass the crew while leaving the ship.

The crew then left for Salalah in Oman.

Later, their employers arranged for their travel to their respective native places, said Jeevan, who reached Mumbai today along with his Indian colleagues Akbar from Ratnagiri and Antony from Goa.

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