Suspected pirates attack reefer vessel off Nigeria, kidnap two

A Liberia-flagged reefer vessel has been reportedly attacked by perpetrators off the Nigerian coast resulting in the kidnapping of two crew members.

The ship, identified as Water Phoenix, was approached and boarded by an unknown number of persons some 31 nautical miles south-southwest of Lagos on 8 September, Dryad Global said referring to sources.

“AIS tracking indicates that the vessel was on route to Lagos at 14kts and undertook evasive manoeuvres before coming to a stop and is currently drifting. It is reported that some of the crew have retreated to the citadel,” according to Dryad.

At the time of the incident, 18 crew members were on board the ship, including 11 Russians and 11 Filipino seafarers. Both kidnapped crew members are believed to be Russian nationals, one of them being the vessel master.

It remains unclear whether the perpetrators are still on board the distressed vessel or in the area.

Built in Japan in 1992, the 8,100 dwt Water Phoenix is owned by Germany-based Triton Schiffahrs, data provided by VesselsValue shows. The ship is part of Belgium’s GreenSea pool.

Dryad informed that this is the third offshore incident in the waters south of Lagos within 2020. Currently, 93 seafarers have been kidnapped from vessels in incidents off West Africa in 2020. 

What is more, this is the 13th reported incident in waters of the Lagos Port Complex and Anchorage in the past 12 months most of which have manifest as boarding for theft.

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