Several unauthorized men managed to board the 2006-built bulk carrier Columbia River while the vessel was at a Lagos anchorage, Nigeria, on November 3.
The owner of the vessel, Pacific Basin Shipping Limited, said that the bulker was boarded in the late evening hours and by morning, Nigerian naval authorities boarded the vessel and apprehended the 16 stowaways.
According to Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the crew of the Hong Kong-flagged vessel had originally thought that they were under attack by armed pirates but preliminary investigation show that the persons on board the vessel were only intruders who hid in the vessel to leave the shores of Nigeria.
The stowaways, including 15 Nigerian and one Liberian national, are in custody and will be handed over to the Nigerian Immigration Service for further action.
All of the crewmembers, as well as the 56,000 dwt ship, are safe, the company confirmed.
The United States-bound Colombia River continued its voyage following the incident and is currently under way in the Gulf of Guinea, according to data provided by VesselsValue.
World Maritime News Staff