North Spirit: hijacked and crew kidnapped

Two Russian sailors abducted from their ship off Cameroon are in good health and may have been taken by their captors to neighboring Nigeria
North Spirit
Ship Type: Cargo
Year Built: 1989
Length x Breadth: 132 m X 20 m
Dead Weight: 7148 t
Speed recorded (Max / Average): 14.6 / 12.3 knots
Flag: St Vincent Grenadines [VC]
Call Sign: J8B3630
IMO: 8502042, MMSI: 375777000
Unidentified gunmen raided the Greek-owned cargo ship North Spirit on May 16 while it was at anchor off the port of Douala, taking the captain and chief engineer in an attack that analysts say marks an expansion in the range of West African piracy.

The pirates also attacked a nearby Lithuanian vessel, Argo, seizing that ship's captain and robbing its safe.

The captain of the North Spirit "was allowed to make a call last night and said he and his crew mate were alive and in good health," said Vadim Ivanov, spokesman for the Seafarers' Union of Russia. "He said they had been taken by sea to Nigeria."

The captain, Boris Tersintsev, is from Vladivostok. The other kidnapped Russian, Igor Shumik, was aboard the Arctic Sea ship that mysteriously disappeared in a purported pirate attack last summer.

The North Spirit raid is the latest in a string of pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, a region stretching from the Guineas in the northwest to Angola in the south, that is an increasingly important source of oil to Western markets.

Negotiators hired by the insurance company of the Greek ship owner, Balthellas Chartering, Swedish p i club, are trying to make contact with the pirates to secure the sailors' release.

"They are trying to start [negotiations], but the pirates haven't contacted them yet," said Panayotis Nikoletos, Balthellas' operations manager.

He said he believed that the Lithuanian captain was with the two Russians and added that the company was trying to confirm reports that the three were in Nigeria.

A spokesman for Limarko Shipping Company AB , owner of the Argo, IMO 8506737, declined to comment.

A Russian sailor aboard the Arctic Sea ship that mysteriously disappeared in a purported pirate attack last summer has been abducted in Cameroon, a sailors union said.

A group of about 20 gunmen boarded the Greek-owned North Spirit vessel as it anchored in the port of Douala late Sunday and seized the sailor, Igor Shumik, and the ship's Russian captain, Boris Tersintsev, the Russian Professional Sailors Union said.

"The pirates disabled all radio and navigation equipment, took valuables, money and personal effects from the crew members' cabins and made captain Boris Tersintsev, a resident of Vladivostok, and senior mechanic Igor Shumik get into their boat at gunpoint," the union said in a statement.

"The men's whereabouts is still unknown," it said.

The ship, which had a Russian-Ukrainian crew, was flying the flag of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and was managed by the Greek company Balthellas Chartering S.A., it said.

Shumik, born in 1963, was among the 15 sailors aboard the Arctic Sea, which disappeared for nearly a month last summer while carrying a $2 million shipment of timber from Finland to Algeria. Russian authorities say the ship was hijacked near Sweden by pirates seeking a ransom and have denied speculation that it was carrying a secret cargo of weapons.

Panagiotis Zafet
In 1991, he founded Balthellas Chartering S.A., a ship management and shipbroking company with 2006 revenues of approximately $25 million, where he currently serves as managing director. Under his leadership, Balthellas Chartering expanded its business from the commercial management of vessels into the full-scale management of multipurpose vessels of the highest ice class, container ships, timber carriers and dry cargo ships. The fleet is trading worldwide with a strong presence in ice bound navigational waters such as the Baltic Sea, White Sea and the Sea of Azov. The Company also specializes in feeder container services offering mostly service in places with limited port infrastructures, such as in the East Mediterranean, North and West African ports, the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and the Far East. Mr. Zafet is also a co-owner and managing director of Hellasco Transport Ltd. Mr. Zafet has a law degree from the Aristotelio University of Thessaloniki and is fluent in three languages. He is a member of the Piraeus Marine Club and the Hellenic Shipbrokers Association.
Balthellas Chartering SA (stated hereafter as Balthellas) was established as a private limited company in Liberia on 26 September 1991...
led by Georgios Koutsolioutsos and brothers Panagiotis and Simon Zafet. Led byMaxim Group and advised by Loeb & Loeb, Ellenoff Grossman & Schole and Reeder & Simpson, the new SPAC, called Seanergy Maritime Corp., is seeking to raise $150 million through the sale of 15,000,000 units at $10.00 apiece. Each unit consists of one share and one warrant; a warrant entitles the holder to purchase common stock at a price of $6.50. There is an overallotment option for 2,250,000 additional units while for $100.00 Maxim gets an option to purchase 750,000 units at $12.50 per unit.
Seanergy Directors & Management
Name Age Position
Georgios Koutsolioutsos 37 President and Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors
Panagiotis Zafet 41 Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors
Simon Zafet 44 Chief Operating Officer and Director

Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp.

Panagiotis Zafet has been our Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors since inception.
Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp., the successor to Seanergy Maritime Corp., is a Marshall Islands corporation with its executive offices in Athens, Greece. The Company is engaged in the transportation of dry bulk cargoes through the ownership and operation of dry bulk carriers.

The Company's initial fleet is comprised of two Panamax, two Supramax and two Handysize dry bulk carriers which Seanergy purchased and took delivery of the ships in the third and fourth quarters of 2008 from companies associated with members of the Restis family. In August 2009, the Company acquired a controlling interest in Bulk Energy Transport (Holdings) Limited ("BET") which owns five drybulk carriers, four Capesize and one Panamax.

As a result, the Company's current controlled fleet includes 11 drybulk carriers (4 Capesize, 3 Panamax, 2 Supramax and 2 handysize vessels) with a total carrying capacity of 1,043, 296 dwt and an average age of 13 years.

The Company's common stock and warrants trade on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbols SHIP and SHIP.W, respectively. Prior to October 15, 2008, the Company's common stock and warrants traded on the NYSE Amex LLC (formally known as AMEX) under the symbols SRG, SRG.W, respectively.

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