EIGHT FOREIGN CREW MEMBERS FREED, ANOTHER CONTAINER VESSEL ATTACKED
More than a month after the kidnap of Eight foreign crew members from a Singapore owned container ship off Benin's coast, the crew members have been freed, said the Nigerian Navy.
The eight included nationals from Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and the Philippines.
The Nigerian Navy Admiral, Oladele Daji, confirmed that the crew members were freed in a rescue operation on Saturday, May 23, 2020, but added that "it was premature to give any details on their captivity and release."
Daji said that the freed crew members are under medical observation, and one of them is receiving medical treatment for malnutrition.
The owner of the ship, a German-based shipping firm Transenste, said that the crew members would be repatriated back to their families.
Transenste said the vessel, the Tommi Ritscher, was boarded by pirates on April 19 while at anchor off the coast of Benin.
Similarly, an unknown container vessel at 3NM West of Banana Anchorage, Democratic Republic of Congo, was reportedly boarded by a pirate who stole a container lashing bar.
The report indicates that the crew members spotted the perpetrator onboard removing a lashing from a deck.
Fortunately, there was no confrontation between the pirate and the crew and all on board were unharmed.
On sighting the criminal, a distress alarm was raised, causing the criminal to flee into a standby smaller vessel.
Unfortunately, all attempts to contact port authorities via the Very High Frequency (VHF) failed.
There has been an increase in pirate attacks in recent times.
Eons Intelligence reported the attack on a cargo vessel around 5 pm on May 20, where the pirates escaped with some of the ship's equipment.
Similarly, on May 18, the Nigeria Navy arrested ten pirates who reportedly attacked a Chinese Vessel on the coast of Cote de Viore on May 15.