Nigerian Pirates Kidnap 12 Crewmembers from Freighter

The FWN Rapide (Image courtesy Port of Hamburg)

Published Apr 23, 2018 6:08 PM by The Maritime Executive

Dutch general cargo vessel operator ForestWave reported Monday that pirates abducted 12 crewmembers from the freighter FWN Rapide in the Gulf of Guinea. 

On Saturday, the Rapide was approaching Port Harcourt, Nigeria when pirates approached and boarded her. They kidnapped 12 of her 14 crewmembers and departed. The remaining two crewmembers managed to navigate their vessel to safety, ForestWave reported. As of Monday, the FWN Rapide was anchored near Port Harcourt. 

In a statement, Forestwave said that it is working to establish contact with the abductees and secure their release. The company has established an emergency response team, which is working with local and international authorities. The firm said that it would not release further information in order to minimize risk. 

Pirate attacks are a regular occurance in the Gulf of Guinea, and hijackers typically target crewmembers to kidnap for ransom. Earlier this month, the Nigerian Navy thwarted an attempted hijacking of an unnamed bulk carrier off Brass, but not before the pirates boarded the vessel, opened fire on the ship's equipment and stole cash and valuables. Nigerian servicemembers boarded the vessel and rescued the crew, but the pirates escaped. Late last month, nine pirates in a speedboat held the fishing vessel Marine 711 hostage for half a day, then abducted five of her crew.