A Beluga Shipping vessel and crew feared hijacked by pirates in the Somali Basin on Sunday are free, the German owner has confirmed.



Personnel from a Royal Navy warship have swept through the 12,744-dwt Beluga Fortune (built 2008) and no pirates have been found onboard.



All 16 crew members have escaped unharmed after riding out the pirate boarding incident in a secure onboard compartment or ‘citadel’. None have been injured although there has been some unspecified damage to the ship's bridge and superstructure, Beluga wrote in a statement on Monday afternoon.