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SEVASTOPOL, February 9. /TASS/. The sailors captured by Nigerian pirates earlier this week are alive and in good health and talks are in progress on their release, human rights ombudsman in Sevastopol Pavel Butsai has told TASS.
"It is true that pirates in Nigeria have taken hostage seven Russians, including three from Sevastopol. They were on board the BBC Caribbean belonging to Briese Crewing Crimea, of Germany. The crew are well. There has been a message from the ship’s captain. Negotiations on their release are in progress. All sailors have been allowed to phone home. They are safe and sound," he said.
The director of Briese Crewing Crimea, sea captain Maksim Nester, is hopeful that all sailors may be released soon as a result of negotiations.
"The kidnapped eight crew members of the ship have been taken to the jungle. The pirates have contacted us. The human rights ombudsman in Sevastopol, Pavel Butsai, has been very helpful. Currently task number one is to explain to the relatives that the company had been confronted with such situations before. There were such seizures in 2008 and 2010. After brief talks the crewmembers were invariably released then. None of the previous negotiations produced a bad outcome. One can say that the crew will return home soon," he explained.
The general cargo ship The BBC Caribbean, owned by Germany’s Briese Schiffahrt company, came under an attack by pirates on February 5. Eight crew - seven Russians and one Ukrainian - were taken hostage. Three crew members remaining on the ship managed to escape from the pirates and take the ship way. The senior mechanic, second mate and a cadet are leading the ship towards Las Palmas, Spain.
The Russian embassy in the Nigerian capital Abuja keeps in touch with the country’s authorities in order to identify the abducted sailors’ whereabouts.