The boat and its 24 crew members were released seven months later, on Nov. 6, for an undisclosed ransom, reported the Associated Press. However, Reuters reported that a record ransom amount of $9.5 million was paid for the South Korean tanker.
Until then, the Sirius Star oil tanker was the largest boat ever seized by Somali pirates. Carrying 25 crewmen and 2 million barrels of oil – a quarter of Saudi Arabia's daily output – the ship was hijacked in November 2008 about 520 miles southeast of the coast of Kenya.
Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he was "stunned" by the reach of the Somali pirates, reported Agence France-Presse. "They're very well armed. Tactically, they are very good," Admiral Mullen said.