Engineer from Himachal released by Somali pirates

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 29, 2009 16:14 hrs

Dharamsala: Cheer returned on the faces of the family of an Indian engineer on a Singaporean ship hijacked by Somali pirates when he told them that he was free.

Raghubir Singh Pathania, the chief engineer aboard M.V. Kota Wajar, which was hijacked by the pirates Oct 15, spoke to his family in Fatehpur village near this Himachal Pradesh town over phone.

'Raghubir established contact with us over the phone soon after he was released along with the crew by the pirates late night Sunday,' Pathania's father Pritam Singh told reporters on Tuesday.

'He talked at length with his wife, me and his mother. He seemed to be in good health,' he added. Pathania told his family that the ship is en route to a port in east Africa.

'The ship is en route to a safe port in east Africa from where he will fly to India. He is likely to reach home in two or three days,' an overwhelmed Singh said.

Pathania has been working with the Singapore-based Pacific International Ltd. (PIL) for the past 10 years. The ship, with 21 crew members including two Indians, was hijacked somewhere north of the Seychelles.