Buri Ram: –Two Thai fishermen have returned to their hometown after last week’s release by Somali pirates, ending four-year and 10-month ordeal.
Four Thai fishermen, including the two, were longest-held hostages in the Horn of Africa state.
ThanakornKaewkamkong and KosolDuangmakerd attended a blessing ceremony organised by their respective parents and relatives in Non DinDaeng district.
After the emotional greetings, the two, their relatives and friends sat down for their first meal at the family reunion.
Thanakorn and Kosol, who are cousins, said they got the job in Prantalay 12 fishing vessel in 2010.
They worked along with other three Thais, one from Trat and two from Ranong. The remaining 24-member fishing crew were from Myanmar.
Six had died in captivity. The 12 crew from Myanmar were released in 2011.
Somali pirates raided and seized the fishing vessel in the Indian Ocean off Sri Lanka coast to demand for Bt60 million in ransoms.
The Thai government worked in concerted efforts with the United Nations to secure the release of piracy hostages.
The two freed hostages said they did not believe they could survive and live to return home again.
The hardship was “beyond imagination”, the two said. They were forced to work on fishing vessels and given one meal, one litre of water per day.
If a vessel broke down, they would have to carry heavy loads for days overland to reach another coastal village to board another vessel.
They said the worst ordeal was to witness their fellow hostages being thrown overboard and drowned “for no reason at all”.