Five crew members from Polish ship abducted by pirates off Nigeria

Poland’s government has confirmed that Polish-owned general cargo vessel Szafir was hijacked by pirates off the Nigerian coast on Friday, with five of the 16 crew members abducted by the pirates.

The ship was headed to the port of Onne in Nigeria from Antwerp, when the armed pirates struck, with 11 of the crew escaping harm by barricading themselves in the engine room and turning off the engines.

All five of the kidnapped crew are Polish and so far no demands have been made, according to Poland’s foreign minister. “The rest of the crew, 11 people, are still on the ship and they are safe,” he added.

The 1992-built ship, which is owned by EuroAfrica, is currently anchored off the Nigerian coast awaiting a new crew to take it to port.

Nigeria’s Navy is overseeing rescue operations for the abducted seafarers.

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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