Indian, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka families sent out a joint message to the Somali people living worldwide who can have influence on their clans back home that are holding their loved ones from the MV Albedo which sank last Saturday evening (6th July). The information released by the Secretariat for Regional Maritime Security, Somali Contact Group on Counter Piracy and Maritime Security (Kampala Process) today is that at the moment 11 crew are on board the NAHAM 3 (a boat that was beside the Albedo when it sank), and 4 crew members are missing. Most reports point that the 4 missing crew members are from Sri Lanka. Reports on the missing crew have been many, from the composition of the group, to their location. First reports were that they were missing and presumed drowned. Later on there was information that the 4 might be on land, having been in a life raft that drifted up the coast, alive and maybe under the control of a different group of Pirates. The crew of the Albedo are from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Iran and families are appealing to the Somalis living in their countries and worldwide to help them as fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and wives together. Photograph from EU NAVFOR.
The fishing vessel Naham 3 also has 29 crew on board from China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Taiwan, Vietnam and Philippines. There are also 4 Thai Fishermen and 7 Indian seafarers still being held from other vessels.
Letter from the Albedo families:
Dear Somali Brothers & sisters,
We, the unfortunate families of M.V.Albedo, have been separated from our loved ones since the time, Albedo ship was taken over by some Somali men on 29 November 2010. The families have to undergo huge amount of emotional stress, trauma since last 31 months. The Owner did not arranged money as demanded by yourself and we were asked by yourself to go to press, media and even to our national Governments. We appealed to everyone in this world to pay money towards the release of our people. But no one listened to us. We have tried our best but we are very poor people. We even do not have any money to pay for medicines, school fees or to buy food for our children. Now, that the vessel has sunk and the Owner has no interest to pay money and rescue the crew.
Our 4 crew members are missing from the ship and nobody knows about them. You have again put the remaining 11 crew on Naham 3 fishing boat, which can sink at any time. We therefore, request you to please leave the vessel and free the innocent life on Naham 3. You can go ashore safely and nobody will interfere at any moment. Once you reach shore, then our people will rescue the crew members from Naham 3. Now, at least release them on humanitarian grounds else they will die in your hands. What will you tell to Allah? You will be punished by Him for taking the life of innocent poor people. With all our hands folded, we appeal to you to please release our men. Families of the Albedo Crew.
Source: MARITIME PIRACY Humanitarian Response Programme – http://www.mphrp.org/news_details/index.php?NewsID=151