Krzysztof Kotiuk

Krzysztof Kotiuk

Master Mariner
Maritime University
Szczecin Poland
(1972 - 1977)


Hansa Stavanger

121 days in the hand of Somali pirates

Krzysztof Kotiuk

121 days in pirate hand - Crazy, how can you survive that?!

A few words only, but always the same scared spontaneous reaction. Backed, by uncountable painful experiences. Who wants to pretend to understand this martyrdom!

Hardly any ships' crew has been in the hand of pirates for such a long time until now. Captain Krzysztof Kotiuk on board HANSA STAVANGER even had a doubled burden to carry: not only did he have to save his own life; he was also responsible for his entire crew.

For him that meant making the right decisions while being day and night under highest tension and stress in disastrous living conditions. Even in our time where everyone is used to sensations something like that has hardly been seen before.

An almost superhuman achievement, with which Captain Kotiuk saved all his men and himself! For that he is due to thanks and appreciation!

Among seafarers there is the saying: "The best captains one always finds ashore."
That means something like "from the quay one can judge everything". This is also true of the case of HANSA STAVANGER.



Hansa Stavanger by Krzysztof Kotiuk

Book "Hansa Stavanger" by Krzysztof Kotiuk

As the first media excitement settled, the history and the people involved were even temporarily forgotten. But very quickly afterwards thefirstskeptics piped up telling the public what they would have done or not. All these 'good advice' would fill another book.

Fortunately, the men on board HANSA STAVANGER off the Somali coast, far from the German rumors mills, got little of it. So they could hold out for four months without also having to deal with accusations and doubts. Krzysztof Kotiuk with whom I myself went to sea, has decades of experience on ships.

Rich in experience and mentally not a wimp. Nevertheless, he has suffered a lot during the difficult time of the hostage-taking.

On board, he kept a meticulous diary. In difficult conditions Kotiuk recorded the events in the Indian Ocean from April to August 2009 relentlessly, not for the sake of sensationalism, but to show how people think, feel and act in such an exceptional situation.Often they act contrary to all theories.

Between the Philippines, Germany, Poland and Russia, the families of the sailors suffered in other ways. Representing al of them, the Captain's wife Bozena Kotiuk, a studied lawyer and former Consul has her say here.

Moreover, the present book does not claim for itself the right to be objective or to attempt an overall analysis of the case. That is not even rudimentary possible. Nonetheless Captain Krzysztof Kotiuk emphasizes that he too, without the wish to offend anyone, wants to give the best possible truth from his point of view.

Dr. Peer Schmidt-Walther
translated by Marine Off. Mr. Alexander Vassiliadis

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