Kochi: The Central and State governments should take urgent steps to get the crew of a Hong Kong-based ship, held hostage by the Somalian pirates, released from the captors, said Thankam Unnikrishnan, mother of one of the ship crew.

At a press conference here on Saturday, Thankam Unnikrishan who hailed from Malappuram, said that her son Ullas Krishna was working as second officer in the ship. She received a message from the shipping company on September 15 saying that the ship had been hijacked by pirates in the waters off the coast of Somalia.

She said that the company also told her that her son was safe and steps were being taken to negotiate and release the crew. She had appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Opposition Leader L.K. Advani, Union Minister for External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee, Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Union Minister for Overseas Affairs Vayalar Ravi, and others to take urgent steps to get the hostages released. She had not yet received any response from the Union government or the Ministers.

Worried about her son, she had not had a wink of sleep in the past 17 days. What she could now do was to pray for the safe release of the crew including her son. She feared that water might be scarce and that medical amenities might not be available to the hostages on board the ship. Therefore, efforts should be made immediately to rescue the crew including her son from their captors, she said.