Greek Officer Killed, Three Others Kidnapped from VLCC Off Nigeria

MT Kalamos file photo (c) MarineTraffic.com/
MT Kalamos file photo (c) MarineTraffic.com/mgklingsick

One officer is dead and three others have been kidnapped following an attack on a Greek-owned VLCC anchored off the coast of Nigeria.

In an emailed statement, Aeolos Management, managers of the Kalamos Shipping Corporation-owned MT KALAMOS, has confirmed that the vessel was attacked by a criminal gang at 2200 hrs on February 3 while waiting to complete loading at a designated anchorage at Qua Iboe, Nigeria, inside territorial waters. During the attack, one officer sustained gunshot wounds and later passed away while being transferred to a nearby a hospital, the statement said. Two other officers and an AB were taken by the gang and remain unaccounted for, according to the company.

Aeolos added that it is working with the authorities in Nigeria to establish the whereabouts of the missing seafarers and to secure their release.

The statement did not elaborate on how many crewmembers were onboard the tanker when it was attacked, or their nationalities.

An update from the Hellenic Coast Guard said that 23 people were aboard the tanker when it was attacked, including 10 Greek nationals. The officer who was killed was also from Greece, as well as two of those kidnapped, the update said.

According to information from Dryad Maritime, a UK-based maritime intelligence firm, the MT Kalamos arrived in Nigeria from Singapore on January 31 and has been anchored approximately 2 nautical miles off the Qua Iboe Terminal, located in the Qua Iboe river estuary in southeastern Nigeria.

“The worrying thing is the fact that it didn’t take long for maritime criminals to recognise the vulnerability of this vessel and to mount an attack within days of the tanker’s arrival with possible tragic consequences and the, hopefully temporary, loss of three of the ship’s crew.  All of this just serves to illustrate the dangers of operating off the Niger Delta and the inability of regional security forces to provide a safe operating environment,” said  Ian Millen, Chief Operating Officer of Dryad Maritime.

The 281,000 DWT MT Kalamos is flagged in Malta and was built in 2000.