Five crew members, including the captain, of a Polish cargo ship have been kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Nigeria, according to Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski.
“The rest of the crew, 11 people, are still on the ship and they are safe… The ship suffered some damages,” Waszczykowski is quoted as saying at a press conference by Reuters.
A group of armed men boarded the ship identified as Szafir on Thursday night while the ship was en route from Antwerp to Nigeria and took five crew members hostage, including three officers and the captain.
It has been informed that the remaining 11 members of the crew managed to escape the pirates by barricading themselves inside the ship’s engine room. The government authorities managed to get in contact with the crew members on board the ship who are reported to be safe.
As indicated by the Associated Press, the ship has sustained damages as the armed group opened fire on the cargo ship.
The 1992-built ship is owned by a Polish company EuroAfrica, but flies a Cypriot flag.
According to Waszczykowski, the kidnappers have yet to voice their ransom demands.
The ship is currently located some 30 nautical miles from the Nigerian coast.
World Maritime News Staff