MANILA, Philippines – The 23 crew members of a Philippine tanker seized by Somali pirates are home after a more than five-month ordeal.
Weary and tired and anxious to see their families, the crewmen of the MT Stolt Strength kissed and hugged their wives at the Manila airport 11 days after they were freed by the pirates.
The pirates seized the chemical tanker heading to India on Nov. 10 in the Gulf of Aden. They released the ship and the crew April 21 after $2.5 million in ransom was paid.
The ship's skipper says they feared for their lives on a daily basis.
Second mate Carlo Deseo was not immediately recognized by his wife, Doris, because of his close-cropped hair.
Deseo said what was more scary was the pirates "did not seem to know what they were doing" and sometimes fought each other.