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14 Jul, 2008 06:15

Ship stuck in storm after being released by pirates

A cargo ship with a Russian captain remains trapped by a storm just days after being released by pirates. It has been marooned in the Arabian Sea near Oman since Friday, just 72 hours after being freed by Somali pirates.

“We ran aground when a severe storm broke out,” said Valentin Bortashov, Captain of Lehmann Timber.

The storm in the area of the ship has reached eight on the Beaufort scale.

The 15 crew members have reportedly been unable to start the engine for over a day and have sent out a distress signal.

A U.S. ship is said to be on the way to help.

Ardo Kalle, a senior assistant with the crew, told RT a tug boat from Oman is expected to get to the cargo ship on Monday night, but said it depends on the weather.

He also said the crew has been provided with food and drink brought in by military helicopters. However, he claimed they have already used up all the water.

“Hopefully when we arrive in Oman our ship will be fixed and the crew will be able to go home,” he said.

The Lehmann Timber was held captive for more than a month off the coast off Somalia.

The pirates were reportedly paid a ransom of $US 750,000 to release it.