Passed only two days since the moment as home the Ukrainian seamen of the vessel "Lehmann Timber" returned on July 22, having courageously sustained 42-dnevny Somali captivity as there passed information that in the high sea near Bonnie Aylend, staff Riverz, Nigeria, attacked a vessel of the Swedish company "Gerkules" which under the Portuguese flag serves oil platforms of the Italian company Saipem. 12 crew members - citizens of Ukraine and Russia.
Just next day there was information that 7 crew members are released by pirates, and five are taken hostage and taken out from a vessel in the unknown direction. Two citizens of Russia (one - the captain of a vessel), two - the citizen of Ukraine and the cook - the Pole. With one of seamen - the Ukrainians, visited "Middle Ages", Alexander Vasin, the correspondent met.
What for strange "game" of pirates?
Were suggested that attack was made by fighters of so-called Liberation army. According to the Russian Newsweek magazine, in rich with oil and gas the area of the delta of the river Niger more than 150 different militarized groups work, the majority of them kidnap foreigners for the sake of repayment.
The official representative of Nigerian army lieutenant colonel Sagir Musa declared that in the country fighters of Movement for release of the delta of Niger and other groups of extremist sense are engaged in stealing. They demand more equitable distribution of the income from oil production in this one of the richest oil fields of Nigeria.
Now all the most terrible behind, but it is impossible to forget this nightmare.
"They shoot, and we are necessary to nobody"
Alexander Vasin told about this "unusual flight".
- On May 2, 2008 I went to the sea under the contract on the vessel "Oat-flakes". There was everything, as usual. On July 24 us attacked. I in such situation for the first time. We knew that there are attacks, but always it seems that it will be not with you.In principle, not news that local pirates thus solve the material problems. They know, with what vessels and owners of the companies to deal - with solvent.
When we saw that to a vessel two boats with the armed people go, understood that our turn to visit in captivity came also. But anybody, of course, didn't want it. Especially, knew that literally for couple of days before released our children which 45 days had such "happiness". We resisted as could not to let on a vessel of pirates. The captain Vyacheslav Ostashkov, he from Russia, contacted at once base, demanded to send the helicopter to rescue people. All team dispersed on a vessel, and everyone worked at the place, more than ever. Pirates were armed and shot on us at the open. We by miracle turned aside from bullets and maneuvered a vessel so that piracy boats couldn't approach closely. They as acted? One boat distracts crew, as they say, assumes fire, and another tries to approach at this time closely that pirates got to us aboard. All of us waited the helicopter. Here then for the first time felt that we are necessary to nobody. The escort didn't come, and after all wasn't so far, the helicopter didn't send! Hour we held on - we have no weapon! Then, when bullets flied simply in flocks, the captain - you know, the real man and the real captain, - to keep people, ordered all of us to go down in a galley. We barricaded, thought if that, we keep up to the end. There though water and which - what food was. We didn't know, on how many it everything.
"The wedding ring is a pity"
- Pirates got on a vessel, among them was smoked, any freezed much. In total by the ship пораскурочили, all cleaned from cabins in general, not only valuable. Then reached us that was even in pockets, took away. Even the wedding ring that is especially a pity is not so much the value, how many a symbol … After release to me returned only a silver dagger, told that from foreign belief it is necessary nothing to them.
- Attacks of pirates at coast of Somalia began in 1991 when as a result of a military coup the dictatorship of Mohammed Said Burra fell and in the country the anarchy set in.
- In 2007 there were 263 attacks on vessels in the high sea against 239 a year ago. Thus pirates of steel more жестокими.64 the person were killed or wounded (in 2006 17 people suffered).
- The number of piracy sorties at the coast of Somalia increased with 10 to 31, Nigeria - with 12 to 42. Near the Somali coast the record number of hostages - 154 was taken.
At once selected and поразбивали mobile phones. Told: if who comes though in any way for communication, we kill without analysis. Before they to us rushed into a dining room, we that could, switched off - a handheld transceiver, which - who phones позакидывали under sofas, for cases. They didn't find something. Thank God, documents remained are whole, and that at all wouldn't know what to do.
In principle, us didn't beat, Lech only got. Something wasn't pleasant to pirates in its look, and, probably, for a bright example they few times set its machete on a shoulder and a back. Flatwise, however, but so strongly that traces long still burned.
Even wanted to take away four in the evening, but something didn't develop at them, and in the morning, again explaining nothing, pirates took five hostages headed by the captain. Two was Russians, two ours and the cook - the Pole. All this, of course, under the threat of the weapon. The captain calmed us, but all were good fellows. Children didn't become limp, kept as it is necessary. Originally told that these five take away for two weeks for "successful negotiation". And next day them returned. Possibly, quickly resolved an issue. At us said that it is Russians so quickly everything solved. Nobody knows, whether demanded repayment, and if yes, that what.
When already went on base on the spoiled vessel, fleeced, but, thank God, live and not wounded, there was the second attempt to take our vessel. We didn't understand is from same "team" of pirates, or still any gang decided to try the luck. But we managed to leave. And when approaching to base we were met by maintenance vessels, and we already safely got on base.
"At last I saw the son"
- I after all could be by then at home already, and about pirates only "fairy tales" to the daughter would read. The contract at me ended much earlier. I already gathered home, at the son wanted to look rather, I didn't see him still, I the second left, and he was born on the seventh of May, however my relief was late. Well, what to do, I called the wife, I told that for day I will be late, and left here is how.
To Marinke, the wife, all told when already were on base, reported that she from me learned, instead of from news. I gasped - I sighed, but - I understood all that I not in captivity and am at home soon.
On the basis of us lodged in hotel complex while the issue of a salary, compensation of material damage was resolved.Tried to find out why in the contract didn't consider that it is a zone of military operations. I not there was a speech about moral damage. Therefore I arrived to Odessa, addressed in sea labor union where promised to take payment of moral damage under control.
- The desire to go to the sea wasn't gone?
- To live - that is necessary! What will I find ashore?. Of course, again I will go to flight, here, probably, in September already and I will leave. The family should be lifted and I took the credit. So to work and work. Perhaps I won't go to such flights and if I go to similar "voyage", I will be already and to documents is more attentive, and about a salary taking into account risk to have conversation the corresponding.
Alexander Vasin was born in Tula, ended a morekhodka in Kronstadt. On distribution I got to Sevastopol, I saw there the Marinka and "I dropped an anchor". Today at it the daughter Yulya, the assistant as he speaks, adult - 11 years grows, and to the successor and the successor of a surname Denis only 2,5 months, but a stripped vest and a peakless cap to it already try on.
Alexander from 17 years in the sea, reached the boatswain, and it not just like that to itself(himself) - the boatswain it and is the boatswain. Few years I served in Voyenno's structure - Navy. To frighten such it is difficult.
"Seamen change on "grandma", as goods"
- Seamen stopped thinking for a long time that it is simple "pranks of savages". These piracy captures, in their opinion, purposeful actions. In advance developed and well prepared, despite seeming primitiveness of captures. With modern equipment, thanks to satellite navigation, it is possible to choose a "favourable" vessel. Then "show" with the real firing by fighting cartridges, vessel capture by a handful undersized, but the armed pirates. And our healthy children can make nothing with them because not to oppose any fist to a bullet.
Then there are intermediaries. It can be the most unpredictable persons. But all our seamen are sure: the piracy is the well adjusted business. And, multistage. Even when the shipowner already pays the demanded sum, seamen receive not at once freedom. While money will reach "terminal point", them yet time "will scroll". Especially it captures near Somalia differ. They after all aren't just like that long on time.
The seamen who have visited in piracy captivity, came to an unfavourable conclusion: our, Ukrainian seamen, least of all can count on the fastest liberating.
- Be on our place Germans, - one of sailors of the Lehman Timber bulk carrier admitted, all issues would be resolved much quicker.
Alexander Vasin from "Oat-flakes" told at once that the issue with them was resolved so quickly because among taken there were Russians. "Us, - the Ukrainian seamen are sure, - considered and continue to consider as slaves". The pier, the fleet disorganized, and specialists in the morekhodkakh "riveted", there is no place to disappear to you - all you will go to hiring for pennies, and you will work all the same. And for our children "for the power" it is offensive.
"To give to these pirates on a muzzle"!
Practically always at piracy captures the question is brought up and exaggerated: what, they can't cut, properly, and storm to beat off the? !
As the Ukrainian ombudsman Nina Karpacheva, under pressure of several powerful shipping companies which have suffered much from the Somali pirates explained, some sea states achieved consideration of this problem at UN Security Council meeting. This Council even allowed in some cases power intervention. However still never it put into practice. In - the first, according to the taken prisoner seamen, such capture is possible during the first hours attacks while it is a little pirates on a vessel. Then they, as cockroaches from cracks, заполоняют all vessel. In - the second while you will collect all necessary "pieces of paper", already and "fight" isn't required.