Niger Delta pirates strike again, attack CMA CGM containership, kidnap two sailors

A containership chartered by the French shipping major CMA CGM has been attacked by pirates off Nigeria, who are reported to have kidnapped two crew members.

The ship has been identified as CMA CGM Turquoise by Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre for the Gulf of Guinea (MTISC-GOG).

The CMA CGM Turquoise, owned by Kassiakos Navigation Ltd and managed by Dioryx Maritime Corporation, was attacked on Monday.

The crew members are thought to be an electrician and the ships second officer.

“The MTISC-GOG has received a report indicating that at about 2156 UTC on 11-April-2016 a vessel was attacked while en-route from Lagos to Douala in approximate position; 04 07.33’N 005 24.12’E.

“SSAS Activated and all but two crew members on board went to Citadel, the two crew outside of the Citadel are suspected to have been kidnapped.

“Investigations and searching of the vessel being conducted by Nigerian Navy as at 1200 LT on 12.04.16

“All vessels within the vicinity of this alert are advised to operate with a heightened level of security and encouraged to report any suspicious activity,” the information sharing centre stated.

“The crew members were counted and all of them were found to be absolutely safe except for the 2nd officer and the electrician who were reported as missing.

“At this stage their whereabouts is not known and everything is being done, in conjunction with the appropriate authorities, the relative foreign ministries, and specialist advisers, to ascertain where they are.

“Up until now, there has been nothing to indicate that either of the men has been injured and we have every reason to believe that they are both alive,” a statement from the ship managers, Dioryx Maritime Corporation said.

According to the ship’s latest AIS data, the 2009-built Liberia-flagged boxship is underway using engine in the Gulf of Guinea.

The Nigerian Navy has commenced investigation into the incident.

This is the second incident that occurred on the same day in the region.

As reported by SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, a group of eight pirates attacked the Malta-flagged tanker MT Puli and kidnapped the vessel’s six crew members some 118 nautical miles off Port Harcourt also on Monday.

The ship was en route from Douala port to Nigerian, when it was hijacked.

The pirates stole cash, ship’s properties, crew personal belongings and escaped with the kidnapped crew.

Last week also saw two attacks by pirates in the Niger Delta area.

This is the second containership that would be attacked by the pirates this year. In February, the Nigerian Navy foiled an attempt to hijack and abduct 25 crew members aboard a Maersk containership named Safmarine Kuramo.

In the first quarter of this year, 14 commercial vessels were attacked in the Niger Delta area and in 6 of these incidents, 23 crew members were kidnapped for ransom.

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