Sep 182008

As of 2pm Japan time, as follows:

1) The vessel’s Master has confirmed on email and phone that all crew on board are safe and unharmed. All crew are confined to one location – the ship’s wheelhouse – but are being allowed to attend to their daily needs; however closely monitored by the Hijackers.

2) The vessel, under instructions from the Hijackers, has arrived at the port of EYL, on the East Coast of Somalia.

3) Vessel’s Owners have appointed a professional negotiator to engage into a dialogue with the Hijackers with the objective of ensuring that the crew remain safe and are returned as soon as possible.

The Stolt Valor was hijacked while she was in the Designated Safety Corridor in accordance with the Recommendations that were issued by the International Coalition of warships entrusted with the task of safeguarding vessels in the Gulf of Aden against Pirate attacks.

The vessel had also made the requisite reports to the UKMTO. The Master had further taken the additional precaution of keeping the vessel close to the Northern limit of the ‘safety corridor’ established by the International Coalition, that is, furthest away from the Somalian Coast.

The owners, with the assistance of the technical manager, are continuing to monitor the situation closely through the Authorities and will ensure the Authorities and all relatives are kept closely informed of developments as they unfold.

Chartered by Stolt Neilsen, Stolt Valor is owned by Central Marine Company in Hiroshima, Japan, and managed by Fleet Management in Hong Kong.

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