The Nigerian navy foiled two pirate attacks on oil tankers on Feb 8, 2017, in the country’s Atlantic waters and freed 21 crew members.
The Director of Information, Naval Headquarters, Navy Captain Sulieman Dahun, said: “Nigerian Navy Ship Okpabana rescued an oil tanker, MT Gas Providence which came under pirate attack yesterday off Bonny Island, River State.
“The rescued ship had 21 crew members onboard and upon encountering the pirates sent a distress call which prompted the Nigerian Navy to dispatch NNS Okpabana to rescue her.
Dahun explained: “As at yesterday 1:30p.m., NNS Okpabana personnel have boarded the rescued oil tanker to investigate and gather information on the failed hijack attempt.
“In a related development, personnel of the Nigerian Navy Ship Victory also repelled a pirate attack on an oil tanker MT Rio Spirit.”
He said: “The pirates attempted to hijack the oil tanker after she loaded products from Qua Iboe terminal and sailed 110 nautical miles south of Akassa in Delta State where the incident took place.
“Not mindful of the fact that the vessel was under security cover by the operatives of the Nigerian Navy who were onboard a security vessel, the assailants swooped on MT Rio Spirit in an attempt to hijack her.
“The Nigerian Navy operatives repelled the attack and secured the route of the vessel.
“Not deterred, the pirates made another spirited effort to hijack MT Rio Spirit 30 minutes after the first attempt which was also repelled. However, she was successfully escorted to safety as she continued her voyage.”
Image Rio Spirit