The Nigerian Maritime Academy has said that it was commencing a search and rescue mission for abducted 12 crew members onboard a Swiss vessel, MV Glarus, owned by Allison Shipping which was hijacked off Bonny Island, Rivers State on Saturday.
The ship was said to be carrying wheat to Port Harcourt when it was attacked.
“The pirate gang boarded the Glarus by means of long ladders and cut the razor wire on deck,” Geneva-based Massoel Shipping told AFP.
It added that the intruders struck 45 nautical miles from Bonny Island in the Niger Delta, and had destroyed much of the vessel’s communications equipment.
Earlier, NIMASA had listed the nationalities of the kidnapped victims to include; Philippines, Slovenia, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia and Bosnia.
Reuters reported that the agency in a statement had said seven of those abducted were from the Philippines and one from each of the other five countries.
Speaking in Lagos on Monday, the Director General of the Agency, Dr Dakuku Peterside, stated that NIMASA was working closely with the Forward Operation Base and the Falcon Eye of the Nigerian Navy along with other relevant security agencies to ensure the release of the crew members.
Dakuku who condemned the act noted that the agency was saddened about the attack and assured that the perpetrators of the act and others of its kind would be brought to book.
“The issue of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is a challenge we acknowledge and we are determined to tackle it head-on. We will continue to collaborate with the Nigerian Navy and other relevant partners to ensure we bring it to a halt. Zero tolerance to piracy and all forms of illegalities on our nation’s waterways is our goal”, he said.
We’ve begun investigation on kidnapped seafarers -Navy
THE Nigerian Navy said that it had begun an investigation that will lead to the rescue of 12 crew members of a ship abducted by suspected pirates.
The crew members were travelling between Lagos and Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital when the incident happened.
An official of the NNS Pathfinder in Port Harcourt, who preferred anonymity because he had not been given the directive to speak, simply told our reporter that the security outfit had received information on the kidnap of the crew members.
The official, who spoke with our correspondent through the telephone, stated that the navy would do its best to ensure that the missing crew members were rescued.
When asked what the Navy was doing about the situation, the source said, “We are on it; we are investigating it. We are doing our best (to get them rescued).”
The kidnapped crew members were said to be foreigners from Ukraine, Philippines, Slovenia, Bosnia and Croatia.