Sailor killed during gun battle with pirates in Niger Delta

A merchant sailor was killed during a shootout between maritime security forces and pirates on Tuesday night off the Niger Delta area aboard the Medaillon Reedererei-owned product tanker SP Brussels.

During the exchange of gunfire, two of the pirates were killed by the armed guards and one other crew member sustained minor injuries.

The ship was carrying a crew of 17 plus two armed guards at the time of the incident and the shipowner stated that they are currently in the process of notifying their next of kin.

Medaillon Reedererei said that the crew and armed guards fled to the ship’s citadel while the attackers boarded the vessel. However two did not reach the citadel in time and were found the next morning by the armed guards who left the citadel to do a sweep of the ship.

The shipowner said, “the exact circumstances leading to the tragic events on board ST Brussels are still unclear. A full investigation will follow.”

This is the second piracy incident to befall the SP Brussels in recent years after the ship was ransacked and five crew were kidnapped in 2012.

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