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Sailors return home from months of uncertainity in Somalia
The Times of India
Wednesday, March 20, 2013

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The ordeal they went through must act as an eye-opener to those who dream of a career in merchant navy, said the five Malayali youths, who returned home on Tuesday after long months in the captivity of Somalian pirates.

''Had we been working for a reputed company, we would not have to spend this long in captivity," said Manesh Mohan of Chadayamangalam, who reached Trivandrum International Airport from Oman on Tuesday afternoon.

''The first mistake we committed was to trust the recruiting agency in Mumbai, which landed us a job at a shipping company in Dubai," said Mohan, adding that they would be careful not to repeat the mistake.

The flight arrived at 2.30 pm. But the family and friends of the youths had to wait for over 45 minutes more before they could see their loved ones.

All the five youths, Mohan, Stanley Vincent of Irinjalakkuda, Dipin Davis of Pathanamthitta, Mithun of Palakkad and Arjun of Thiruvananthapuram, were undergoing training, when their ship, MT Royal Grace, was hijacked by Somalian pirates about 350 nautical miles off the Indian coast. The vessel was then sailing to Nigeria. They needed nine months of work on board to complete the training and sounded anxious about their future.

''We do not know whether the days under custody will be counted,'' wondered Vincent.

Vincent also recollected with fear, the ordeals he and the others went through at the hands of the pirates. ''We were tied up for hours, beaten and made to starve,'' he said. The pirates turned violent whenever the negotiations ended without any results.


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