Released vessel ROYAL GRACE gets support from EU sailors
MV ROYAL GRACE, the chemical tanker released by Somali pirates last Friday, is likely to arrive at Salalah Port this coming Tuesday, maritime sources said. The vessel is currently travelling at a slow speed. It will arrive in Salalah by Tuesday.
Panama-flagged MV ROYAL GRACE , a chemical tanker, was captured on March 2, 2012. MV ROYAL GRACE has 17 Indians, including five Keralites, on board. The other crew members include three Nigerians, one Pakistani, and one Bangladeshi.
The European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) flagship ESPS Méndez Núnez provided assistance to MV ROYAL GRACE after the latter regained its freedom from Somali pirates.
The tanker is now en route to Oman under the watchful eye of another EU Naval Force warship, ESPS RAYO.
"The EU Naval Force is truly delighted that the Indian sailors and others are on their way home after such a long time. ESPS Rayo is escorting them at a safe distance," EU NAVFOR's spokesperson LCdr Jacqueline Sherriff wrote in an email to Times of Oman.
Meanwhile, MV Smyrni will arrive in Salalah on Wednesday night, sources in Salalah stated.
"The Greek-owned oil tanker SMYRNI will arrive on Wednesday. SMYRNI was carrying 135,000 tonnes of oil when it was seized, off the coast of Oman. It is reported to have a crew of about 11 Indians, 14 Filipinos, and one Romanian on board," sources added.
Smyrni was seized by Somali pirates on May 11, 2012, off the Omani coast.