Update: Beluga Vessel Freed from Pirates

Update: Beluga Vessel Freed from Pirates

The German military and the European Union Naval Force's Operation Atalanta freed the Beluga Fortune and its 16-member crew from Somali pirates.

Rescue forces used a ship, plane and helicopter to free the vessel, but the hijackers escaped. The crew sustained no injuries, according to a statement made to the press by a spokeswoman for Beluga. The Beluga Fortune has resumed its voyage to South Africa.

Related Story: Pirates Capture German Project Cargo Ship

Bremen-based Beluga Shipping received an emergency call Sunday morning from the 12,744-dwt multipurpose vessel Beluga Fortune, then traversing the Indian Ocean and later confirmed in a company statement that the ship had been seized by Somali pirates.

The heavy-lift vessel was en route from the United Arab Emirates to South Africa when it was boarded and taken by pirates 1,200 miles off the coast of Kenya.

-- Contact Janet Nodar at jcnodar@bellsouth.net.