Singapore Ship Departs Cameroon Port With All Members Unharmed

Armed militiamen had seized Singapore-flagged vessel Barents Sea at the port of Limbe in Cameroon on Sunday (3 Feb).

Barents Sea is a crude oil tanker managed by Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) Private Limited.

Eastern Pacific Shipping has announced that captors have released the ship on Tuesday (5 Feb), reported The Straits Times.

The ship departed the port safely after completing cargo discharge.

All 26 crew members safe

At the time of capture, Barents Sea was carrying 26 crew members from China, India, Philippines, Turkey and Ukraine.

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Cameroonian private militiamen armed with AK-47 submachine guns had allegedly seized their ship while they were discharging cargo at the port.

EPS never disclosed whether the crew had sufficient protection onboard.

But the shipping firm confirmed that all 26 members were safe upon release.

Hijacking caused by commercial dispute

The hijackers were likely from DSC Marine, a Cameroonian charterer and military force.

EPS claimed that owner Mr Jules François Famawa had taken control of the vessel illegally and held the crew ransom.

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The illegal seizure was in blatant violation of Cameroonian and international laws.

EPS condemned DSC Marine’s actions and hopes that they can resolve future disagreements without resorting to hostile measures.

International collaboration to rescue hostages

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Republic of Singapore Navy took charge of the rescue mission, with the help of Cameroonian authorities.

Embassies representing the ship’s crew also assisted in the release of Barents Sea.

EPS has expressed its utmost gratitude to the various authorities for their invaluable help.

Obey laws to maintain safety

DSC Marine’s disregard for local and international laws had endangered the lives of innocent crew members.

In light of the incident, EPS has promised to obey all local and international rules and regulations.

The health, safety and security of crew members are top priorities.

We wish all the crew members well and hope that such a precarious situation won’t happen again in the future.

Featured image from Marine Traffic.