hijacking nigeria gulf of guinea

Location of the kidnapping, approx 85 nm offshore Nigeria

A spokesman from Carisbrooke Shipping has confirmed that their multi-purpose bulk carrier, the British-flagged Esther C, has been attacked by pirates 85 nautical miles south-southwest of Port Harcourt, Nigeria at position 002 54.6N 006 02.4E.  The company has confirmed that 3 crew members have been kidnapped and the pirates have left the ship. The remaining nine crew members remain on the vessel and are believed to be unharmed, the company said.  Two of those taken hostage are believed to be Russian.

The Esther C is currently underway to rendezvous with another of Carisbrooke’s ships.

esther c carisbrooke

Image via peter.beentjes

The incident is at least the fourth attack carried out by suspected Nigerian pirates in the region this week.

On Sunday, a French tanker was hijacked by pirates off the Ivory Coast and was reported released days later after the pirates took the vessel to Nigerian waters and stole some of the ship’s cargo. On Tuesday, 3 people were killed by gunmen during an attack on a barge in the Niger Delta. And later on Wednesday, news broke that a Filipino crewmember aboard the chemical tanker, Pyxis Delta, was shot and killed Monday during an attack by pirates at Lagos Anchorage, Nigeria.

We will update as more information becomes available…

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