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«Gard is relieved and delighted to see that the 26 crew members of HEROIC IDUN are now finally free to go home and to be reunited with their loved ones. This is something that should have happened months ago, but we are happy to see that the combined efforts of several stakeholders have finally pulled through,» said Gard’s Chief Claims Officer, Christen Guddal.

The HEROIC IDUN was detained on 12 August 2022, and both vessel and crew have been held ever since – first in Equatorial Guinea and then in Nigeria. Regrettably, in order to secure the liberty and well-being of the crew and to end the prolonged and wrongful detention, the vessel had no other option than to accept a charge and to agree to make significant payments as well as other concessions as part of a plea bargain dated 27 April 2023.

However, both the plea bargain and the Court orders dated 28 April 2023 and 9 May 2023 make it clear that all charges against the 26 crew have been withdrawn.

«We extend our deepest gratitude to all parties who have worked with this very challenging case and who have assisted and facilitated the release of the crew. Going forward, we hope there are lessons to be learned from all of this, so that seafarers don’t have to find themselves in such terrifying and demanding circumstances again,» said Guddal.

Related information: Gard statement on HEROIC IDUN