Supply vessel Walvis 7 was attacked by pirates at the Nigerian port of Onne on February 10 and two crew are being held hostage, it has been confirmed.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has said the Honduran master and the Ukrainian chief engineer of the 1982-built, 1,070 gt vessel have been taken hostage.
The remaining 18 Nigerian crew members are safe at Onne.
Walvis 7 is St Vincent and Grenadines flagged and the registered owner is Glowgold International.
This is the third incident in the past two weeks in West African waters in which crew members have been kidnapped from the vessel. The problem of kidnap and ransom is rising.
Dryad Maritime Intelligence said: “The number of incidents in the Niger Delta region involving the kidnap of crew who are then held for ransom has escalated in recent months.
“Slow-moving commercial traffic is particularly at risk, with tugs, fishing vessels and even a product tanker targeted for this purpose in the past 10 weeks.”