Three crew members of the bulk carrier Giang Hai have been rescued by the Philippine government troops during a military operation in Kang Tipayan Island, Tawi-Tawi.
Apart from the three seafarers, who were freed on November 10, the troops recovered the body of the fourth crewmember. The men were taken from the bulker on February 19, 2017, while the vessel was sailing some 35 nautical miles west of Doc Can Island in Sulu, Philippines.
An unknown number of armed men boarded the Vietnam-registered ship at the time and abducted six of its crew, all of whom were of Vietnamese nationality.
ReCAAP Information Sharing Center earlier informed that one seafarer was killed as he tried to escape his captors, while the Philippine troops discovered the body of another crewmember in July 2017.
The crew were reportedly taken by Abu Sayyaf, an affiliate to the ISIS Islamic terror group, which turned to kidnappings for ransom last year. The group is known to be extremely violent both in the hostile takeover of vessels and the treatment of the hostages.
“Tawi Tawi and the surrounding region is widely known to be the hunting grounds and area of operation for the terrorist group,” Gerry Northwood, COO at MAST, maritime risk management consultancy, earlier told World Maritime News.