Pirate Hostages Update

We’ve had requests for updates on some of the pirate hijackings that have occurred over the past year, and Noonsite.com has just posted updates on the status of the release of the crews of the s/v Choizil and the s/v Ing.

S/V Choizil

While the official line of the South African Government to not negotiate or pay ransoms remains unchanged, in mid-February a brother of hostage Deborah Calitz – Kevin van der Merwe, who lives in Auckland, New Zealand – broke the silence and called for a public funds-drive to enable the family to make an offer for a release to the Somali hostage takers, who hold them now. A trust account was being set up and he said even the smallest donation would help.

The ransom demanded for the safe release the Durban couple has been dropped by half, with religious leaders in Mogadishu putting pressure on the pirates to let them go unconditionally, but neither will the family be able to collect the still multimillion dollar ransom nor do they seem to get the right advice, and the longer the case takes, the more complicated it will be to finalize it.

On June 20th, Calitz’s daughter Samantha, said she believes her mother is alive, after the pirates answered a proof of life question two weeks ago. She said the family is still hopeful she will be released unharmed. Neither Calitz nor her partner Bruno Pelizzari have been allowed to speak to their families.

For the complete story, including an update on the crew of the s/v Ing, go to www.noonsite.com.

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