The Georgian crew members of the Maria del Carmen 2 are returning home. (IPN.)

TBILISI, DFWatch — The twelve Georgian sailors who have been adrift on a ship abandoned by its owner off the coast of Panama are returning home.

The sailors aboard the Maria del Carmen 2, sailing under a Nigerian flag, were rescued by staff at the Georgian embassy in Mexico with support of the Georgian Foreign Ministry.

The circumstances and events surrounding their rescue are not yet known, but according to the Foreign Ministry, the first group of the ship’s crew will return on Tuesday at 18:00, while the second group of nine will arrive from Turkey to Batumi on December 26.

The sailors will have half of their traveling costs covered by the Georgian government, while the other half is covered by International Transport Forum.

12 Georgian sailors were reported to be adrift 5 km off the shore of Panama December 3. The ship had technical problems, and the local government therefore didn’t allow Maria del Carmen 2 to sail. The crew hasn’t been paid for four months, and they were running low on food and lacked electricity. The ship had a crew of 16 in total.