New Delhi, Nov 25: After spending two months as captive in the custody of Somali pirates, captain of MV Stolt Valor, Prabhat Kumar Goyal along with 13 other crew members returned home on Tuesday, Nov 25 morning. "I want to thank the entire media for supporting us. We faced great difficulties. I can't even walk right now," said the Captain after he arrived at Delhi airport.
Capt Prabhat Goyal's wife, Seema Goyal who had flown down from Dehra Dun with her two daughters was also present at the airport to welcome her husband back to India. The other crew members also shared their horrifying experience with the media. They said that it was very difficult to communicate with the pirates as they had limited understanding of English language.
Ullas Krishna, the Second Officer of the Stolt said that about nine pirates boarded the ship with heavy weapons while he was on a navigation watch since the Somalian waters were notorious for pirate attacks. The pirates then ordered the crew to take the ship to the Port of Eyl where about 50 more pirates joined the ship.
Mt Stolt Valor was hijacked by the Somali pirates on Sep 15 off the coast of Yemen. It was released on Nov 16 after the Japanese company which owns the ship paid a ransom of $2.5 million to pirates. The captain and crew were then taken to Muscat of Oman where they underwent medical and psychological check-ups. Five members of the crew arrived on Monday, Nov 24.
The pirates had kept the ship and 22 crew (which include four foreigners) as captives at the port of Eyl in Somalia.