For MV Leopard Crew, Finally, A Familiar Face…

Source: Shipcraft Press Release

Managing Director Claus Bech of Shipcraft has now visited the six seamen from MV Leopard, that were released on April 30. Their health is better than anticipated, they are looking forward to being reunited with their families and were happy to finally see some familiar faces.

Over the weekend, Managing Director Claus Bech of Shipcraft travelled together with representatives of the crew management company Nordane, to visit the six seamen of MV Leopard. This first meeting was characterized by emotions and reunion joy.
“First and foremost I believe that Eddy. Søren and our four Philippine colleagues were happy to finally see some familiar faces. It was the first time in close to 2½ years they have met some people they actually know. Throughout the past week they have been surrounded by skilled professionals, but they were obviously happy to be able to talk about their ordeals with somebody they know”, says Claus Bech.

“As in my initial telephone conversation with our colleagues, it was a meeting characterized by emotion and joy and conducted in a very positive atmosphere. It was clear to me, that the meeting with us was a final proof to the crew, that this terrible ordeal is now over and the journey towards a normal life can begin. There were hugs and also a bit of tears”, says a happy Claus Bech.

Through the eight hour long meeting conducted at a secret and secure location somewhere in Europe, the seamen among other things told about the actual hijacking of MV Leopard, the terrible and fatiguing captivity and the events surrounding their release. Claus Bech told about the efforts to reach an agreement on the ransom with the Somali kidnappers and secure the release of the six seamen.

”Our crew has demonstrated an unusual strength throughout their captivity and has managed to stick together and support each other. I’m proud that they have made it through the ordeal and I sincerely hope that we can help them to fully recover physically and mentally and resume a normal family- and work life. And we hope to see them back on our vessels”, says Claus Bech.

A part of the time that Claus Bech and the Nordane-representatives spent with the crew was devoted to providing an overview of their individual economic situation. Depending on collective agreements, contracts and other agreements, they have accumulated salary, vacation and days off. In addition the possibilities for applying for compensation were described briefly.

The six seamen have yet to decide when they feel ready to be reunited with their families, but it could happen already this week. It is still undetermined whether and to what extent the seamen wish to be interviewed by the media. However Shipcraft ask the media to accept that the seamen will need peace and privacy with their families.

One of the things that will be established is whether the seamen wish to make themselves available to the media.

”We will keep the media informed about any news, but it’s entirely up to the individual seaman to decide whether or not he wants to be interviewed. I expect that they will wish to tell their story at some point, but we hope that the media will respect that right now our colleagues first and foremost need peace and privacy with their families”, informs Claus Bech.

Inquiries from the press can be directed to Managing Director Claus Bech via communications advisor Mads Lindberg on mail: or phone: +45 2981 0290


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