19 crew abducted from Union Maritime tanker released, one dead

The crew abducted from Marshall Islands-flagged chemical tanker Duke last month have been released, however one of the crew members died shortly after the incident.

“Following the attack on tanker Duke and abduction of 20 crew members on December 15, we can confirm that 19 of the crew members taken hostage were today released by the criminal gang holding them. It is with great regret that we have to report that one valued crew member, an Able Seaman, was evidently taken ill and died shortly after capture,” Union Maritime and V.Ships Management said in a statement.

The abduction took place while the vessel was underway from Luanda, nearing Lome in Togo, a part of West Africa where attacks have escalated in recent months. The 20 crew members abducted were all Indian nationals, while just one Nigerian cadet was left onboard.

“We are seeking further information from those crew members that have been released and a full investigation will be held into the AB demise. All our sympathies and condolences go out to next of kin, family and friends at this tragic time. The AB’s immediate family have been informed and are being supported,” the statement from owner and manager said.

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.
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