MV Abdullah arrives at Kutubdia

MV AbdullahFile photo

MV Abdullah, the ship freed from Somali pirates, anchored at Kutubdia in the Bay of Bengal Monday evening. With this, 23 sailors reached the country a month after being freed from the pirates.

The crew members are scheduled to return home Tuesday after completing the formalities at the ship.

Mohammad Abdur Rashid, master captain of the ship, sent a message on WhatsApp to Prothom Alo after anchoring at Kutubdia port. “We anchored the ship at 6:00 pm. Feeling very good. Everyone is well here.”

The KSRM Group’s ship MV Abdullah anchored two miles north of MV Jahan Mani, another ship of the group, which was also hijacked by Somali pirates in 2010. Later, KSRM group released the ship with ransom after 100 days.

KSRM Group said MV Abdullah has to anchor at the Kutubdia coast as such a large vessel cannot moor at the port jetty. The vessel was carrying 56,391 tonnes of limestone. This has increased the ship’s draft (length of portion under water) to 12.5 metres, equal to four storeys.

According to KSRM Group, due to the draft of the vessel, a portion of the cargo will first be unloaded at Kutubdia. After that it will be taken to the port area near Patenga in the Bay of Bengal. The remaining cargo will be unloaded there.

When asked when the sailors will be able to return, KSRM Group deputy managing director Shahriar Jahan told Prothom Alo today, Monday, that another batch of 23 sailors will join the vessel today. These new sailors will shortly start for Kutubdia, he said. Once they join MV Kutubdia, the sailors who have been released from the hostage will hand over their duties to them. Once all the procedures are complete, the MV Abdullah sailors will likely reach the KSRM jetty at Sadarghat by Tuesday afternoon.

On 12 March, Somali pirates hijacked the vessel of KSRM Group from the India Ocean. After paying ransom, the vessel was finally released after 33 days on 13 April.

The vessel then went at first to the Al-Hamriya port in the United Arab Emirates. After unloading cargo there, it loaded a shipment of limestone and started off for Chattogram. It reached Bangladesh waters after 13 days from its release.