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Homechevron_rightKeralachevron_rightTwo Keralite families...

Two Keralite families praying for safe return of their sons

Two Keralite families praying for safe return of their sons

Mumbai: The families of two Keralite sailors, who are among the 24-member Indian crew of the Turkish oil chemical tanker hijacked by pirates off the coast of West African nation Gabon, are praying for the safe return of their dear ones.

While Vasant Kumar from Melparambu had joined the shipping company V Ships in January this year, V K Babu from Palakunnu had joined in April. Both hail from the northern district of Kasaragod in Kerala.

MV Cotton, the Malta-flagged vessel, was taken over by suspected pirates 15 miles off the Gentil Port early on Monday, a statement from V Ships, the crew manager for the vessel owned by a Turkish company, said.

Vasant Kumar's father-in-law Shivaram said they were informed today by the company's office that Turkish ambassador had intervened to sort out the issue and Turkish Navy was also in the area.

His wife Priya was very upset hearing about the hijack and was refusing to have any food, he said.

The ship's office at Kochi had informed Priya yesterday about not being able to get in touch with the vessel. The worried family then immediately got in touch with its Mumbai office.

Vasant Kumar had set off for sailing two weeks ago from Mumbai and had called his family to inform that they were sailing for Africa and would get in touch with them after reaching their destination 12 days later, Shivaram told PTI.

The couple have two children -- a daughter studying in the first standard and son in the LKG.

Shivaram said they had been told by the company that the area from where the ship had been hijacked was a problem free zone since the past five years.

Meanwhile, the relatives of Babu have not informed his 68-year-old mother about the hijack, his elder brother Murali said. Babu, who used to call daily, had last informed his brother on July 10 that he was in Nigeria. After that there were no calls, he said.

On July 13, the company officials called saying there was no communication links with the ship since the past three days.

Babu's wife Srividya has been informed. The couple have a four year daughter studying in LKG.


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