Captain regrets failure to save girl captured by pirates
Alakrana skipper Ricardo Blach told the mother of a 12-year-old Ukrainian girl who were held by pirates on another boat that he couldn’t take the teenager with him.Madrid – A Spanish trawler captain released by Somali pirates said he is haunted by his failure to save a 12-year-old Ukrainian girl held captive for more than six months, a newspaper reported Sunday.
Ricardo Blach, skipper of the Alakrana, which was freed Tuesday after being held by pirates for some six weeks, told how he saw the young girl aboard another hijacked ship, in logbook extracts published in El Mundo.
During his captivity, Blach boarded a second vessel, the cargo ship Ariana, to hand over supplies including medicines and fuel.
Somali pirates have been holding the Ariana with its Ukrainian crew for around half a year.
On board the ship, Blach saw the blue-eyed Ukrainian girl with her mother and her father, who was a member of the ship's crew.
"Her mother begged me to take (her daughter) with me," Blach wrote in his logbook.
"I told her that I couldn't. On her ship, the Ariana, there were 12 pirates. On mine, the Alakrana, 30," he said, adding: "I have not stopped thinking about this girl, about the women in this boat."
As well as the young girl's mother, there were two other women on board including a cook and a sailor's wife.
The sailor's wife was pregnant but had a miscarriage and was in need of urgent medical attention, according to Blach's diary and information obtained by El Mundo.
Somali pirates captured the Ariana on 2 May with its 24 Ukrainian crew in the Indian Ocean en route from Brazil to the Middle East.
In October, the sailors' families begged their captors and the boat's owner to speed up negotiations as living conditions on the vessel had worsened.
Alakrana and its 36 sailors -- from countries including Ghana, Indonesia and Spain -- were captured on 2 October and freed on Tuesday after more than six weeks.
AFP / Expatica