Nigerian Pirates Free Three VLCC Hostages

Three seafarers held hostage by a criminal gang in Nigeria after being kidnapped from a very large crude carrier have been released by their captors, according to a statement from operator Aeolos Management.

Another member of the crew was killed in the original incident on board the 281,000 dwt Kalamos, which took place just off Qua Iboe oil terminal in the southeast of the country on February 3. The remaining 23 people on the ship were at the time reported safe.

Two Greek nationals and one Pakistani seafarer are currently in hospital in Nigeria being examined and treated as necessary, after which they will be repatriated.

No details of the operations involved in securing the freedom of the captives will be released by the company, which argues that this might encourage further attacks.

“While there is great relief that these three valued seafarers have been released, there is also great sadness when we remember that the chief officer of the vessel lost his life during the attack on the vessel,” Aeolos said in a statement.

“Our sympathies and condolences go out to family and friends at this very difficult time.”

According to security specialist Dryad Maritime, piracy incidents in the Gulf of Guinea fell by 18% last year, but the number of attacks resulting in the kidnap of senior crew members increased significantly.

For more maritime news see Lloyd’s List

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