MV Izumi with 20 Filipinos on board released by Somali pirates

A February 28, 2011 press release prepared by the Department of Foreign Affairs

The Department of Foreign Affairs Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (DFA-OUMWA) stated that MV Izumi with 20 Filipino seafarers on board was released from captivity by Somali pirates on 26 February 2011.

MV Izumi, a Japanese-owned and Panamanian-flagged cargo vessel, was hijacked on 10 October 2010 while on its way from Japan to the Kenyan Port of Mombasa.

Combined Maritime Forces Armed Forces of the Philippines Liaison Officer (CMF-AFPLO) Captain Gaudencio Collado and the local manning agency, Marsun Shipping, confirmed with the DFA that the vessel with the 20 Filipino seafarers are now heading to Mombasa, Kenya. The Filipinos will be repatriated from Mombasa to Manila.

To date, there are 118 Filipino seafarers on board 11 vessels being held captive by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

The Philippine government has undertaken measures to minimize the exposure of Filipino seafarers to piracy attacks, including making arrangements with ship principals and manning agencies for vessels to travel along a safety corridor and to adopt best management practices as a deterrence to piracy attacks.

The Philippine government has likewise taken up the issue of maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Aden and in the Indian Ocean before the United Nations and other international organizations.

The government deployed last year CMF-AFPLO Captain Collado with the Combined Maritime Fleet in Manama, Bahrain, which coordinates the naval patrols.

The DFA-OUMWA continues to coordinate closely with the concerned Philippine Embassies, the vessels’ principals and the local manning agencies for the early and safe release of the other Filipino seafarers.