Jakir Hossain, a young cadet from Bangladesh, was captured by Somali pirates on MV Albedo in 2010 and spent almost four long, traumatic years in captivity. He was released in June 2014 and finally the enormous stress and anxiety he and his family suffered have come to a promising end.
ISWAN previously published Jakir’s story (which can be found here) following his release, which highlighted the far-reaching effects of such an ordeal on a seafarer who had spent so long in captivity. Following the incident, the crew were concerned about their future careers but ISWAN’s Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP) continued its support of the seafarers and their family members after they were released.
Jakir was provided with all the fees he needed towards his higher grade examinations and training courses, and his parents were assisted with medical care since their son was not yet able to support them. Jakir has now cleared all his higher grade examinations with the Department of Shipping in Bangladesh and has now joined a merchant vessel to pursue his dream of sailing on the high seas once more.
Thanking ISWAN, Jakir said that today he and his parents are very happy that he could rejoin a ship and that his dream and passion to sail will become a reality again: ‘This would not have been possible without the generous support and grant of funds by MPHRP and ISWAN. My parents join me to express our sincere gratitude to the funders and all those who assisted me and my family towards my rehabilitation post release from captivity.’
Chirag Bahri, ISWAN’s South Asia Regional Director, said: ‘It is matter of great pride that Jakir is back again at sea, leaving behind all the bad memories and looking forward to a very bright future. He is an inspiration for thousands of seafarers that, after having gone through crisis, he stood up again and is confident to achieve his goals. We wish him all the success in his life.’
Roger Harris, Executive Director of ISWAN, added: ‘We are so pleased that Jakir can resume his career at sea and we wish all the best for his future career. However, a number seafarers held hostage by Somali pirates are still having problems getting back to sea. ISWAN is still supporting many of these seafarers. It is important that they are not forgotten.’