I won’t stop my husband from sailing again: Stolt Valor captain’s wife

November 18th, 2008 - 11:47 am ICT by IANS  

Dehradun, Nov 18 (IANS) “For a sailor, it is his call of the sea, so there is no way that I am going to tell my husband not to sail again,” says a jubilant Seema Goyal, shortly after winning a 63-day-long battle to get her husband Prabhat Kumar Goyal out of the clutches of pirates who had hijacked the Japanese ship Stolt Valor while it was under Goyal’s command.Right through the ordeal, Seema - now on her way to New Delhi for a stopover before finally re-uniting with her husband after his ship touches the Mumbai harbour next Monday - never gave up.

“Even as I was facing the worst odds, I never gave up and somehow always believed that God would not be unkind to me,” Seema told IANS in an interview.

The shock that descended on her on Sep 15 evening when she heard her husband’s trembling voice convey “our ship is hijacked” and the trauma that followed for the next two months appear to have increased her mental strength.

“For the first few hours, I was completely lost; I did not know what to do, whom to approach and who not to talk to; but then I made up my mind to move heaven and earth to get my husband back,” she said.

“Initially, I was advised not to approach the media as it could prove counter-productive, but on second thoughts I decided otherwise and narrated the facts to some journalists who took up the issue in such a manner that actually turned the tide for me.

“In fact, I owe a lot to the media, without whose help I would not have been able to sustain my struggle.”

Seema said she “knocked on every door - the ship owning company, the government, media and political leaders. While the company eventually bailed out the entire 22-member hijacked crew by shelling out a heavy ransom - I am not aware of the amount - I must express my deep gratitude to India’s foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee for really extending every possible support from the government’s side.

“I am now going to meet him and thank him for his invaluable help.”

Their 11-year-old daughter Ayushi was just as delighted with the news of the release of the hijacked ship by the pirates. “I am just waiting to meet Papa and I don’t care if he is not able to get any gifts for me. As it is there is hardly anything left on their ship. My greatest gift is my Papa’s return,” said the class 6 student of Summer Valley school here, a girl who stood by her mother right through the ordeal.

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