Captain and Chief Engineer Killed During Pirate Attack Off Nigeria
Pirates fired on a drifting Panama-flagged bulk carrier off the coast of Nigeria, killing the captain and chief engineer, a maritime watchdog body said as it warned shipping to stay clear of the area.
|MV Fourseas SW (Photo: Joop Klassman)
"Armed pirates chased and fired upon a drifting bulk carrier. Vessel raised alarm and headed towards Lagos. All crew except the bridge team took shelter in the citadel," the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre said in a statement yesterday, reports The Herald Sun.
Cyrus Mody, a manager at the IMB, said the vessel's captain and chief engineer "were killed in the shooting."
The attack, which took place 110 nautical miles off the coast, is one of three to have occurred in the area since Thursday, the IMB said.
The attackers are believed to be "Nigerian pirates", according to Noel Choong, head of the IMB's Kuala Lumpur-based piracy reporting centre.
He said the centre had alerted Nigerian authorities, who launched an operation to intercept the pirates and rescue the ship. He could not provide any information on the origins of the ship or its crew.
Nigeria's navy spokesman Kabir Aliyu confirmed the attack.
"MV FORCES was attacked by pirates at about 110 nautical miles south of Lagos Fairway Buoy. Two crew members seriously injured and later reported dead. Others sustained various degrees of injuries," he said in a statement to AFP.
"We are still searching for the vessel," he said.
The IMB said other recent attacks in the area included a tanker that was hijacked south of Nigeria on Thursday. Nigerian vessels intercepted that ship and rescued its crew. Read more.
More up-to-date reports state that the vessel is the Panama-flagged, MV Fourseas SW. The 29,700 DWT bulk carrier, built in 2010, is owned by the Taiwanese company, Shih Wei Navigation of Taipei. The bulker was attacked at approximately 0250 UTC.
Although the IMB Piracy Reporting Center immediately informed the Nigerian authorities who sent out a rescue team, due to rough seas, the naval team could not reach the location.
A French warship in the area, which received the warning broadcast, went to the aid of the distressed vessel and despatched a helicopter. A boarding team boarded the vessel and escorted it into Lagos port. The vessel is presently at the inner anchorage in Lagos port.
The authorities boarded the vessel and a medical team gave assistance to the crew. Later, all crew members and two bodies were taken ashore.
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