A UK-flagged tanker seized by Somali pirates has been released after a ransom was paid, it was announced today.
The 7,926-tonne St James Park was captured in the Gulf of Aden on December 28 while on its way to Thailand from Spain.
A ransom drop was made yesterday morning to the pirate group holding it at anchorage at Garacad in Somalia, the European Union Naval Force Somali (EU Navfor) said.
The 26 crew on board the ship, from Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Philippines, Poland, Georgia, India and Turkey, were all said to be safe.
The chemical tanker is now heading north east, EU Navfor said.
A spokesman said: "She is now safely under way and EU Navfor is continuing to monitor the situation."
Ship management company Zodiac Maritime Agencies said it could not disclose the size of the ransom - paid by the vessel's owner - in case it jeopardised ongoing negotiations to secure the release of British-flagged cargo ship the Asian Glory, hijacked just days after the St James Park was seized.
The St James Park, which was built in 1993, was hijacked while in the International Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC).
The IRTC, which is patrolled by international navies, was set up last February in a bid to protect ships travelling through the Gulf of Aden.Reuse content