A seafarer on board German-owned product tanker SP Brussels has died after a pirate attack off West Africa at around 2300 hrs local time on Tuesday according to a statement from operator Medaillon.
Two pirates were also killed in crossfire with guards on the ship and another crew member sustained minor injuries and is receiving medical treatment on board the vessel.
“Management and staff at Medaillon Reederei wish to offer their deepest condolences to the family of their deceased colleague,” the company said.
“The company’s thoughts are with his relatives, friends and fellow crew members. Medaillon Reederei is… notifying the next of kin and will be offering its support to the family in these extremely difficult times.”
At the time of the attack, SP Brussels and its crew of 17, plus two armed guards, was in ballast and en route from Port Harcourt to Lagos.
Adhering to company security procedures, the crew and armed guards retreated to a citadel once the assailants boarded.
However, two of the crew are thought to have failed to get to safety in time.
Following a shoot-out, the armed armed guards left the citadel this morning to establish the security situation and discovered the casualties.
Immediately after the attack, the Nigerian navy was notified. Medaillon has also informed the relevant authorities, including the IMB Piracy Centre.
SP Brussels is now in open sea off the West African coast awaiting instructions. The Nigerian navy will attend it shortly.
SP Brussels is a 2007-built oil product tanker that flies the Marshall Islands flag.
For more maritime news see Lloyd’s List