UK shipowner Union Maritime has confirmed that an Indian crewmember on one of its vessels who had been kidnapped by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea on December 15, 2019, fell ill and died shortly after his capture.
The deceased individual had earlier been abducted along with 19 other Indian sailors from the Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker Duke as it was sailing off the coast of Togo after having departed the Port of Luanda in Angola. Only one crewmember, a Nigerian deck cadet, had been left behind by the pirates.
Union Maritime added that the 19 other kidnapped sailors have been released by the perpetrators. All have undergone medical checks and are reported to be in good health despite their ordeal.
The released crewmen are set to be debriefed by Togolese authorities before they will be cleared to return home to their respective families.
The company said that it is seeking further information from those crewmembers who have been released and that a full investigation will be conducted to determine what led to the deceased sailor’s demise.
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