12 Jul 2010

Tuvaluan sailor still traumatised nearly a year after being held by Somali pirates

2:12 pm on 12 July 2010

One of the eleven Tuvaluan seafarers held hostage for four months by Somali pirates last year says there's been no effort by his former employers to provide them any post-traumatic counselling.

Jack Taleka is now living back in Tuvalu, almost a year since he and other crew on board the German container ship MV Hansa Stavanger were freed.

The release came after protracted ransom negotiations between the pirates, the company Leonhardt & Blumberg, and the German Government.

Mr Taleka says for all eleven Tuvaluans, the terrifying vigil was their first experience of high-powered weapons and has left a legacy.

"Sometimes, I usually get flashbacks from it. Most of us, we don't live the normal life anymore. We're still thinking about what happened back in the days. Some days it really gets into my nerves, I want to kill somebody, you know..."

Jack Taleka says there are no services in Tuvalu to assist him and the other former hostages cope with their trauma.