Pirates release Bourbon crew kidnapped off Nigeria

French oil services company Bourbon Offshore has confirmed that two crew members kidnapped from their vessel off the coast of Nigeria last month have been released.

The company did not say if or how much ransom was paid for their release.

The two men were abducted from the Bourbon Liberty 251 on February 23 after the vessel came under attack off the coast of Nigeria. Ten other crewmembers were left unharmed.

The abducted men were reported to be of Russian and Nigerian nationalities. Both men are said to be in good health.

“This news comes as a great relief to all BOURBON employees, who share the joy of the families,” the company said in a statement.

Nigeria continues to be a hotspot for violent piracy and armed robbery at sea, where gangs of armed pirates board vessels with the intention of kidnapping crew for ransom or stealing fuel oil cargo.

The International Maritime Bureau received reports of 14 piracy incidents with nine boardings in 2015, although the actual numbers are believed to be higher as many go unreported.

Bourbon Offshore said that for confidentiality reasons the company had no further comment on the matter.

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