( RIA Novosti ) - The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry confirmed Friday that the crew of over 30 people on board a luxury French yacht captured by Somali pirates a week ago has been freed.
The Le Ponant owned by one of France's largest ship operators CMA-CGM was seized en route to the Mediterranean. It was not carrying any passengers, but had 22 French crew members on board as well as 10 Ukrainians and Koreans.
The ministry said that the crew was freed without the use of the force and a Ukrainian woman, who was among the hostages, was released and reportedly was in good health.
A French Navy frigate and a team of French commandos were present in the area to reinforce the group negotiating the hostages' release.
Pirate attacks are a common occurrence off Somalia's coast, and in the past several vessels carrying United Nations aid to the country have been targeted. Attackers usually seize cargo, money and other valuables, but rarely capture ships or crew members.