Four seafarers kidnapped in Nigeria

Yesterday the Lithuanian government revealed that four seafarers were abducted at Port Harcourt in southern Nigeria. Two Lithuanians and two Ukranians were taken from a Comoro Island-registered ship, authorities in Vilnius said, without identifying the ship’s name.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius has formed a working group to investigate the abduction circumstances and take care of the sailors’ release.

Gunmen are believed to have stormed the ship, likely to be a tanker, and kidnapped the four sailors.

Kidnappings in the Niger Delta have been on the increase of late and shipowners have been advised to be extremely vigilant when calling in the area.

“The only effective deterrent is for there to be a permanent naval presence in the region and for the Nigerian government to allow western guards to protect vessels. If we could mirror the systems and processes that we put in place on the other side of Africa and other regions then it would have an immediate effect on this type of situation happening again,” security expert Will McManus from Maritime Security Resource Group (MSRG) told Splash today.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Reefer ship Solarte.
    A UN Security Council resolution would be necessary the same as it was for piracy off Somalia. Without international agreement copycat measures are only partially met.
    West Africa has ECOWAS and MOWCA to promote maritime security in the region. Cannot impose any operation in the region without collective support of all regional states. The level of naval capability amongst regional states is at different ends of the spectrum, consequently, it is difficult to implement a comprehensive regional approach.

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