Living with pirates and surviving

Former MT Asphalt Venture hostages discuss their ordeal. 

Living with pirates and surviving to tell the tale


When Bhimsen Singh agreed to work on MV Asphalt—a foreign-flagged ship—in 2010, he certainly did not sign up for eating plain boiled rice with salt or chapatti with black tea.

But for four years that was all the seafarer got to survive on after Somalian pirates took over his ship. Singh’s nightmarish ordeals included walking miles just to fetch drinking water and living without electricity deep within Somalian forests with guards who were trained to pull the trigger at the slightest provocation.

“But that was our life,” said Singh, one of the seven Indian seafarers released two weeks ago.

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