VIDEO: The story of Morning Glory, told by its Captain

By Vessels

Mirza Noman Baig, the Captain of the seized oil tanker Morning Glory, gave an interview from the police facility in Tripoli. The 38-year-old Pakistani knew his ship was trapped when dozen of men boarded the tanker off the coast of Libya armed with riffles. The crew was forced to load the oil by the militia from the country's restive east part. Baig said:

"We were in a hostage situation. We had no choice but to follow the orders of the rebels. We were drifting away 30 miles off (the coast). The pilot (of the port escort boat) came onboard, and the security people came onboard. We cannot do anything. They had guns."

Currently, Captain Mirza Noman Baig and his crew are being kept at a police facility in Tripoli where they will stay until the investigation is finished.

The shipping data confirmed that the vessel had been circling for several days near the rebel-held port before docking. 

Captain Mirza Noman Baig explained that the owner of Morning Glory had ordered him to load oil in Libya. He had not informed them that Es Sider was a rebel port

"The owner just told me (to go to Libya) but he didn't tell me how the situation was, is this the central part or I don't know. I don't know what the situation is in that area," he added.

Baig said that 35 rebels had come on board Morning Glory. When the ship loaded the oil, only three left. The rebels denied that they used guns to force the crew. 

Baig added that the rebels had ordered him to travel away from the Libyan coast. According to Libyan government officials, Morning Glory ran into a firefight with naval forces before sailing to Cypriot waters. 

The Pakistani captain asked the owner and the militiamen for the direction of the ship, but the response was:

"They said they would tell us later."

Baig said that the owner was telling him that the sale of the crude would be arranged, but he refused:

"I was telling them that I am not interested. I want my crew to go home. We don't want anything, we don't want any of the oil. You trapped us on this."

He managed to call his wife in Lahore using the satellite phone of the vessel. She was the one to alert various governments, the Cypriot police and NATO forces. After that, the SEALs took over the tanker. 

Currently, Morning Glory is moored at Tripoli. 

The attorney general of Libya has already issued orders of releasing the 21 crew members of Morning Glory. So far, they are still in a detention facility. Their personal belongings and shipping documents have been taken.

Captain Baig said to Reuters:

"People treat us very nicely. We get three meals a day. As far as we are here we don't have any problem but we are just waiting to go home because we are passing from this very tough time."

Video of the full interview with the Captain of the seized Morning Glory:

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