Authorities of the Nigerian Navy are intensifying efforts to locate two American sailors, who were abducted by pirates off the Coast of Brass in Bayelsa State on October 24, 2013.
Investigations showed that the operatives, who have been searching for the missing vessel, the crew members and the abducted Americans, have not been successful.
The Director of Naval Information, Commodore Kabiru Aliyu, on Friday said that efforts were on to find the vessels and those who were taken hostage by the pirates.
He said the Nigerian Navy had instructed the Central Naval Command, Yenagoa, to take over the ongoing search for the vessel and the sailors.
He said: “You know that the authorities of the Nigerian Navy have handed over the search for the Americans, the vessels and the crew members to the Central Naval Command. There is no clue up till now and there has been no contact with the kidnappers. The kidnappers have not contacted anybody to place any ransom on those taken hostage. Even the vessel has not been sighted. The investigation and the search to find them is on.”
The Naval command in Bayelsa also said it had been combing the creeks around the area but without any success yet.
The Commanding Officer, Forward Operating Base, Brass, Bayelsa State, Capt. Aniedi Ibok, said that it was curious that the company where the two sailors were working before their alleged abduction had not reported the matter to naval authorities.
He said the only report they heard was from the American Cable Network News that the two sailors were missing.
He said while the Navy was working round the clock to find the vessel that was conveying the Americans, information from other crew members on board the C. Retriever vessel could be of vital importance.
“We are still searching our waters to see if we can get the vessel since it was not reported to have been kidnapped. Apart from reported abducted two Americans, there were other people in the ship. They should be able to talk. They should be able to tell us where they are. They have not made any report. They have not called the Navy, neither have they called the Joint (military) Task Force. The only report anybody has heard regarding the abduction is from the CNN and nobody can work with that.
“The company they are working with should be able to give us information. They cannot be working in Nigeria from America. At least, somebody should be able to tell us what happened,” Ibok said.
He said it would be impossible to have taken the vessel to the creeks.
“They could not have taken the vessel to creeks. The vessel is too big to be taken to the creeks. They did not say they kidnapped the vessel. They only said they kidnapped the captain and the chief engineer,” he said.
The two Americans who were the captain and chief engineer of the C.Retriever vessel were abducted when the vessel came under pirate attack recently.
The pirates reportedly shot into the air to scare the sailors who eventually handed over the vessel to them.
It was reported that the Americans might have been abducted for ransom even though those holding them had not contacted the government for negotiation.
The vessel belongs to an American firm, Edison Chouest Offshore.