Seized German ship crew suffer mentally

HAMBURG - The owner of a German ship held by pirates off the coast of Somalia says the crew members are suffering mentally after four months of captivity, according a newspaper interview published yesterday.

HAMBURG - The owner of a German ship held by pirates off the coast of Somalia says the crew members are suffering mentally after four months of captivity, according a newspaper interview published yesterday.

"All crew members are physically in ood shape," Frank Leonhardt, owner of the Hansa Stavanger freight ship, told German Bild am Sonntag newspaper. He said their psychological wellbeing was a different matter.

"Of course the mental strain for the sailors and their relatives is considerable," the ship owner said.

The pirates have reportedly demanded a ransom of US$3 million (R23million) for the ship and crew.

The ship, owned by Leonhardt and Blumberg shipping company in Hamburg, was seized on April 4 off the Somali coast, between Kenya and the Seychelles. - Sapa-DPA

X