Greek Tanker Goes Missing in Gulf of Guinea

Grace Management S.A. says the Bahamas-flagged Orfeas was carrying 32,000 metric tons (35,000 tons) of gasoline to Abidjan in the Ivory Coast. Image (c) Lizard/Shutterstock

A Greek-operated gasoline tanker went missing along with its crew and cargo from the waters around Ivory Coast over the weekend, the vessel’s Greek manager said Monday.

The Orfeas was anchored off Abidjan, the main port of Ivory Coast, when it sailed south in the early hours of Saturday morning “without orders or explanation,” Grace Management SA said in a statement, adding that the ship’s last known position indicated it was heading towards Lagos in Nigeria.

The ship had two Greek and 22 Filipino crew members and was carrying just over 32,000 metric tons of gasoline for discharge at Abidjan.

“The managers have been trying to contact Orfeas continuously, unfortunately without result,” Grace Management said, adding it had requested assistance from all relevant authorities and neighboring countries.

The waters of the Gulf of Guinea near Ivory Coast have become increasingly dangerous in the past year, with piracy attacks becoming more frequent.

By Sarah Kent. (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.