Navy Rescues 13 Foreign Crew Members on British Ship
The Nigerian Navy on Friday, confirmed that it rescued 13 foreign crew members who were about to be kidnapped aboard a merchant ship leaving Nigeria for Cameroon.
The Commanding Officer of the Nigerian Navy Ship, Nwamba, Capt Mustapha Hassan, told newsmen that the incident happened on Wednesday.
According to Punch, the merchant ship, MT Vectis Osprey, had sailed into Nigeria from Malabo in Equatorial Guinea a week earlier with general consignments.
Captain Hassan explained that the British ship was setting out for Douala, Cameroon, on August 17 after discharging her cargo when it was attacked by nine armed sea pirates.
According to the Navy official, the suspected pirates had boarded the Ship with the likely intention of kidnapping the 13 foreign crew members.
Captain Hassan said the crew members were of different nationalities comprising of seven Philippines, two Romanians, one Russian, one Polish, one Indian, and one Croatian.
In an agonizing twist however, Hassan stated that the Navy failed to arrest the sea pirates as they jumped into the sea and escaped.
He said, “On Aug. 17, MT Vectis Osprey, a British ship was attacked by sea pirates about 20 nautical miles off the coast of Bonny Island Fairway Buoy in Rivers.
“We got a distress alert from the operations centre at the naval headquarters which dispatched NNS Nwamba with NNS Okpabana to shadow the operation.
“On getting the may-day distress call, we immediately set course to intercept and rescue the merchant ship from hijack by sea pirates.
“On arrival, Special Forces attacked the nine heavily armed pirates who jumped into the sea and escaped apparently due to superior gunfire and tactical awareness of troops.
“The operation was largely successful as all 13 foreign crew members, including the captain, are safe and unhurt, while cargo on board the ship is intact.”
Hassan explained that the failure of the special forces to arrest the pirates was as a result of poor visibility caused by torrential rainstorm a day to the rescue.
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