Panaji, Feb 23 (IANS) Zenaida Pereira, wife of a Goan sailor who along with 21 other sailors has been taken hostage by African pirates on an Iranian cargo ship off the coast of Oman, has said she is “praying every hour for the pirates to show some largesse”.
Zenaida told IANS over telephone from her home in Margao, 35 km from here, that she hopes the talks between the pirates and the Irano Hind Shipping Company, the owners of the captured ore carrier MV Sinan, work out.
“The company has contacted me. They told me that they are talking to the pirates. I am praying to god every hour so that my husband comes back alive,” she said.
Last heard Tuesday, Captain Harish Khatri, an official of the Directorate General of Shipping, told Goa Rajya Sabha member Shantaram Naik that Zenaida’s husband Thomas Pereira is safe.
“Thomas has been sailing on the MV Sinan for the last three years,” said Zenaida, mother of one.
“The Indian government is also speaking to the company. The company officials have said that they are speaking to the pirates who are demanding ransom and are doing their best to resolve the situation,” Zenaida said.
In all, 22 crew members, including nine Indians, were on board the vessel owned by Irano Hind Shipping Company Ltd, Tehran, when it was hijacked by African pirates Feb 12.
The vessel was going from Fujairah in the UAE to Singapore with about 52,000 tonnes of iron ore.
Naik told IANS that the union Minister for Shipping G.K. Vasan had assured him that the situation was being monitored by the Indian government through the Indian Navy and the owners of the vessel.