Two Britons – chief engineer Peter French, from County Durham, and second officer James Grady, from Renfrewshire – are among the crew of 25 who were all reported to be unharmed.
"All our people have now left the Sirius Star. The ship is free, the crew is free," Mohamed Said, one of the pirate leaders, told Agence France-Presse by telephone.
"There were last-minute problems but now everything has been finalised."
A regional maritime group confirmed the release. An associate of the pirates, who call themselves the Central Regional Coastguard (CRC), said the owner of the ship, the oil giant Saudi Aramco, had paid a ransom of $3m (£2m). The pirates had originally demanded $25m. There was no immediate comment from the company on the release of the ship or the ransom claim.
The hijacking of the 330-metre long vessel was the culmination of a dramatic surge in piracy off Somalia this year. Both the $100m cargo and the daring nature of the attack, which took place 500 miles off the coast of Kenya, prompted numerous governments around the world to send warships to the region. more..http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/09/sirius-star-released-somali-pirates-ransom