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April 24, 2009

Freed ship adrift off Somalia without escort

The Stolt Strength is reportedly still adrift off the coast of Somalia, following its release by hijackers on April 21.

Stolt-Nielsen S.A. (Oslo: SNI) said last night that the ship, chartered by Stolt Tankers B.V. from owner Segana Shipping, is low on bunker fuels after its long captivity and is now awaiting the arrival of a bunker barge arranged by the owner / manager.

Following its release, Stolt Strength was initially accompanied by a warship, which was subsequently redeployed, leaving the ship unprotected.

"Despite repeated requests for military protection, none has been forthcoming," says Stolt-Nielsen, which adds that it and the ship's owner "continue to seek assistance for the ship in order to secure the safe return of the crew."

The vessel was taken by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden on November 10, 2008 while on passage from Dakar to Kandla with 23 crew aboard.


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