A photograph released by the Italian Navy's Twitter account on November 29, 2022, shows B. Ocean tanker being towed by a tug boat accompanied by an Italian patrol vessel.

17 Indonesians ‘Healthy and Safe’ after Korean Tanker Boarded by Pirates 

BY :THE JAKARTA GLOBE

DECEMBER 04, 2022

Jakarta. The Indonesian crew of a South Korean oil tanker that was boarded by pirates last month have been rescued in safe and healthy conditions and will be flown back home after the ongoing investigation is concluded, embassy officials said on Sunday.

The Indonesian Embassy in Dakar said 17 Indonesians were among the crew of the B. Ocean tanker that reportedly was hijacked and left disabled by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea on November 23.

Media reports said it was the second time B. Ocean tanker was boarded by pirates this year, after the first attack in January.

Embassy officials were informed about the piracy on November 25 and that all communication equipment in the vessel had been destroyed by the attackers. The pirates reportedly stole oil and also took cellular phones, laptops, and other personal effects of the crew, making any contact impossible.

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An Italian Navy vessel was deployed for help and it was learned that the tanker’s engine has been damaged by the pirates. The tanker was then towed by a tug boat to the Abidjan port in Ivory Coast.

The tanker arrived at the Abidjan port on Friday but embassy officials from both Indonesia and South Korea were denied access to the crew.

Indonesian Ambassador Dindin Wahyudin and his Korean counterparts made intense communications with Ivory Coast authorities and they were finally granted access to meet the crew on the tanker on Saturday, the embassy said.

“Although all crew members are in healthy condition, they remain under psychological trauma and want to go home immediately,” Ambassador Dindin told Antara news agency.

It added logistical supplies have been handed to the Indonesian crew members.

However, they cannot immediately return to Indonesia pending the investigation by local authorities.

"Investigation on the B. Ocean tanker is underway, during which all crew members will be interrogated,” the ambassador said.

Media reports said the tanker is owned by South Korea’s SK Shipping and registered in the Marshall Islands. 

It carried two South Korean nationals as the captain and the chief engineer and 17 Indonesians as crew members when the piracy occurred.

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