The PANTELENA vessel with 17 Georgian sailors on board has safely returned to the port of Lomé, Togo, the sailors are provided with the basic needs, and their health is not in dangerous condition, the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on August 25.
Missing Ship with Georgian Sailors Found
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, August 27
The ministry said that the ship arrived in Togo on August 24 after an attack on the ship crew.
‘’We have contacted with the vessel crew, which is provided with the basic needs (drinking water, food, etc) and their lives and health are not in danger. The ship's captain said that an armed attack was carried out on the ship crew in the Gabon territorial waters, after which the ship was seized, ‘’ the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.
The ministry stated that they and the Maritime Transport Agency of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia have conducted coordinated work in different directions in the last 10 days to ensure that all parties are involved in the search operation.
‘’ All diplomatic leverages have been enacted. The Embassies of Georgia in South Africa, Great Britain and Ethiopia, ensured involvement of about 10 states in the process the Maritime Transport Agency of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia has established active contacts with the ship owner company, with the ship’s flag state – Panama as well as with special marine security groups in Kenya and Nigeria,’’ the ministry stated.
The vessels of navy forces acting in the West Africa (Portugal, England, and France) as well as satellite surveillance systems were used in the search operation.
As a result of these actions, the vessel was identified on August 23. The Maritime Transport Agency provided the updated information to the sailors' families time by time.
The Government of Georgia remains in contact with the ship PANTELENA and expresses its readiness to provide the assistance to the Georgian sailors in case of necessity, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said.