Pirates release oil tanker hijacked off W’Africa

Pirates have returned a Geden tanker hijacked off the coast of Gabon last weekend.
The gang which snatched the 37,800-dwt Cotton (built 2007) in an unprecedented attack less than 20 nautical miles north of Port Gentil, have released the ship and its Indian crew of 24, a representative of the owner confirms.
In a statement issued to TradeWinds, Geden said: “The master has confirmed that all 24 Indian crew members are safe and in good condition.

It says the pirates left the ship in the early hours of this morning and the crew were able to contact their families.
While Geden praised the work of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, the Malta Flag Authorities, the insurers and all other international agencies and governments, it did not say if the ship’s cargo had been stolen.
The strike on the Cotton came close to the port of Gabon where the ship had loaded a part cargo of fuel oil and was waiting to load a second parcel when it was attacked.
As we reported experts fear the hit could mark a game changer in West African piracy give the hijacking came 200 nautical miles from any other recorded incident in recent history.