Nairobi – 11 August 2015: Yesterday under arrangements made by the Kenyan Government supported by UNODC, OBP, and the Embassy of Indonesia in Nairobi, the crew of the FV Al Amal, which sank off the Somali Coast last Friday, were safely repatriated to Kenya from the Puntland State of Somalia.
In a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Garowe, the Vice President of Puntland, Abdihakim Abdullahi Haji Omar, handed 32 members of the crew over to John Steed of OBP and representatives of Kenya and the Minister Councilor of the Indonesian Embassy in Nairobi. In his remarks John Steed thanked the President of Puntland and the Puntland Maritime Police Force for a spectacular rescue of the wrecked ship’s crew in difficult and dangerous conditions and for preventing the crew from falling into the hands of Somali pirates. The sea based support from EUNAVFOR in maintaining contact with all involved and for standing by for a sea-based rescue, had it been required, all contributed to the comprehensive solution needed to save the lives of this crew.
The crew will now be repatriated to their home countries though the ship’s Captain and Chief Engineer were arrested by Puntland authorities and are now assisting the Puntland Regional Government with investigations into the fishing activities of the FV Al Amal. The Puntland Regional Government also intends to seek assurances from the owners about securing the wreck and preventing environmental damage to the Somali coastline.
The help and assistance of the Kenyan Government was very much appreciated for facilitating this humanitarian rescue.