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Diana Shipping Inc. Announces Time Charter Contracts for M/V Norfolk With Clearlake, M/V Alcyon With EDF and M/V Melite With

Diana Shipping Inc. Announces Time Charter Contracts for M/V Norfolk With
Clearlake, M/V Alcyon With EDF and M/V Melite With Cargill

ATHENS, Greece, Dec. 17, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Diana Shipping Inc.
(NYSE:DSX), a global shipping company specializing in the ownership and
operation of dry bulk vessels, today announced that it has entered into time
charter contracts for three of its vessels.

The Company has entered into a time charter contract with Clearlake Shipping
Pte. Ltd., Singapore, through a separate wholly-owned subsidiary,for one of
its Capesize dry bulk carriers, the m/v Norfolk. The gross charter rate is
US$10,700 per day, minus a 4.5% commission paid to third parties, for a period
of minimum eighteen (18) months to maximum twenty-four (24) months. The
charter is expected to commence at the beginning of January 2013.

Additionally, the Company has entered into a time charter contract with EDF
Trading Limited, UK, through a separate wholly-owned subsidiary, for one of
its Panamax dry bulk carriers, the m/v Alcyon, at a gross charter rate of
US$7,750 per day, minus a 5% commission paid to third parties, for a period of
minimum twenty-three (23) to maximum twenty-nine (29) months. The charter is
expected to commence at the end of December 2012.

The Company also has entered into a time charter contract with Cargill
International S.A., Geneva, through a separate wholly-owned subsidiary, for
another of its Panamax dry bulk carriers, the m/v Melite, at a gross charter
rate of US$7,750 per day, minus a 5% commission paid to third parties, for a
period of minimum eighteen (18) to maximum twenty-four (24) months. The
charter is expected to commence at the beginning of January 2013.

These three employments are anticipated to generate a total of approximately
US$15.3 million of gross revenue for the minimum scheduled period of the
charters.

The Norfolk is a 164,218 dwt Capesize dry bulk vessel built in 2002, the
Alcyon is a 75,247 dwt Panamax dry bulk carrier built in 2001 and the Melite
is a 76,436 dwt Panamax dry bulk vessel built in 2004.

Diana Shipping Inc.'s fleet currently consists of 30 dry bulk carriers (17
Panamax, 3 Post-Panamax, 8 Capesize and 2 Newcastlemax), as well as 2
new-building Ice Class Panamax vessels expected to be delivered to the Company
during the fourth quarter of 2013. As of today, the combined carrying capacity
of our current fleet, excluding the two vessels not yet delivered, is
approximately 3.4 million dwt with a weighted average age of 6.0 years. A
table describing the current Diana Shipping Inc. fleet can be found on the
Company's website, www.dianashippinginc.com. Information contained on the
Company's website does not constitute a part of this press release.

About the Company

Diana Shipping Inc. is a leading global provider of shipping transportation
services through the ownership and operation of dry bulk vessels. The
Company's vessels are employed primarily on medium to long-term time charters
and transport a range of dry bulk cargoes, including such commodities as iron
ore, coal, grain and other materials along worldwide shipping routes.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Matters discussed in this press release may constitute forward-looking
statements. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides safe
harbor protections for forward-looking statements in order to encourage
companies to provide prospective information about their business.
Forward-looking statements include statements concerning plans, objectives,
goals, strategies, future events or performance, and underlying assumptions
and other statements, which are other than statements of historical facts.

The Company desires to take advantage of the safe harbor provisions of the
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and is including this
cautionary statement in connection with this safe harbor legislation. The
words "believe," "anticipate," "intends," "estimate," "forecast," "project,"
"plan," "potential," "may," "should," "expect," "pending" and similar
expressions identify forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements in this press release are based upon various
assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions,
including without limitation, our management's examination of historical
operating trends, data contained in our records and other data available from
third parties. Although we believe that these assumptions were reasonable when
made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant
uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict
and are beyond our control, we cannot assure you that we will achieve or
accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections.

In addition to these important factors, other important factors that, in our
view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in
the forward-looking statements include the strength of world economies and
currencies, general market conditions, including fluctuations in charter rates
and vessel values, changes in demand for dry bulk shipping capacity, changes
in our operating expenses, including bunker prices, drydocking and insurance
costs, the market for our vessels, availability of financing and refinancing,
changes in governmental rules and regulations or actions taken by regulatory
authorities, potential liability from pending or future litigation, general
domestic and international political conditions, potential disruption of
shipping routes due to accidents or political events, vessels breakdowns and
instances of off-hires and other factors. Please see our filings with the
Securities and Exchange Commission for a more complete discussion of these and
other risks and uncertainties.

CONTACT: Corporate Contact:
         Ioannis Zafirakis
         Director, Executive Vice-President and Secretary
         Telephone: + 30-210-947-0100
         Email: izafirakis@dianashippinginc.com
        
         Investor and Media Relations:
         Edward Nebb
         Comm-Counsellors, LLC
         Telephone: + 1-203-972-8350
         Email: enebb@optonline.net