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Former pirate captives abandon ship outside Oman

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Crew members of the MV Suez board a Pakistani Navy destroyer
  • A sailor tells IBN they left their ship because had no fuel and was in danger of sinking
  • Their decision to abandon ship is the latest step in a harrowing journey
  • Last week Somali pirates released them after nearly 10 months

(CNN) -- Somali pirates released the MV Suez last week, but its crew members were forced to abandon the ship Sunday, officials said.

The crew members of the MV Suez boarded a Pakistani Navy destroyer Sunday after their ship ran out of fuel, according to CNN sister network CNN-IBN.

The ship's Capt. Wasi Hassan had asked to be brought aboard the destroyer so he and his crew could have medical attention, as many of them were ill.

A sailor told CNN-IBN that they were forced to leave the ship behind in Omani waters because it was in danger of sinking. It was unclear when they would return home.

Sunday's decision to leave the MV Suez was the latest step in a harrowing journey for the crew, which was held captive for nearly 10 months.

The ship was hijacked August 2, 2010, by dozens of Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden. Somali pirates released the ship and its crew last Tuesday after receiving an air-dropped ransom of $2.3 million.

Abdel Magid Mattar, chairman of Red Sea Navigation Co., which owns the ship, said the company paid $1.45 million and Pakistani donors paid another $850,000. Ansar Burney, a Pakistan-based human rights activist, said she conducted negotiations and arranged for the ransom to be paid.

For months, the pirates fed small amounts of rice to their captives, according to the company that owns the ship.

"They need medical attention, and it was tough on their families," Mohamed Sobhi, deputy chairman of the Red Sea Navigation, told CNN last week. "The ship should be protected by NATO forces to avoid another disaster on the way back."

Several days after their release, crew members told CNN-IBN the ship was attacked by pirates again as it made its way to an Omani port.

Then, it ran out of fuel, leaving crew members stranded in rough seas around 75 miles from the port, CNN-IBN said.

The Panama-flagged MV Suez had 23 crew members aboard, hailing from Egypt, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka.

CNN's Aliza Kassim contributed to this report.

 
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