Russian News Agency RIA NOVOSTI says on Jan 30, that 6 Russian crew of container ship MSC MANDY, kidnapped in Gulf of Guinea on Jan 2, were released, according to Russian Embassy in Nigeria. Understood all released seamen are well. No details of release are available, as usual, and won’t be available, also as usual. Thankfully, kidnap-release story has a happy end, as all dozens of similar kidnaps before. There wasn’t yet any tragic kidnap case in Gulf of Guinea, let’s hope it will stay this way, because we can’t hope that merchant ships will be safe from Nigerian piracy in foreseen future. They won’t, as long as there’re the UN and IMO, with all interested States remaining deaf and blind to security problems of merchant ships and honest, hard-working seafarers.
Previous news: Jan 4 UPDATE: 24 crew includes 23 Russian and 1 Ukrainian seafarers. 7-9 pirates who boarded the ship, were armed with AK-47 and machetes, they ransacked the ship, robbed the crew and took 6 hostages with them when leaving the ship: Master; Chief Officer, 3 Officer, bosun, fitter and cook. Replacement of kidnapped crew is to take place at Cotonou Benin.
Jan 4: Container ship MSC MANDY was attacked by pirates at 0000 UTC Jan 2 in position 05 28N 002 21E, some 50 nm south of Cotonou, Benin, while en route from Lome Togo to Lagos Nigeria. 6 crew were kidnapped, the ship reached Lagos after attack and as of morning Jan 4 was at Lagos anchorage.
Container ship MSC MANDY, IMO 8918966, dwt 47120, capacity 2668 TEU, built 1993, flag Panama, operator MSC.
My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.