Pirates Wound Two Guards, Take Two Crew Hostage off Benin

Luxembourg-flagged product-chemical tanker ST Marseille was attacked by five armed pirates on February 26 while anchored in the Bay of Cotonou, the Gulf of Guinea.

The pirates approached the tanker in a speedboat and opened fire once they boarded the vessel, IMB’s piracy reporting center informed.

Two guards of the Benin Navy on board the tanker suffered gunshot wounds during the hijacking, as informed by the Luxembourg government.

All crew except the officer of the watch on the bridge retreated into the citadel.

“As the armed persons made their way to the bridge they took hostage the officer and demanded the master, chief officer and chief engineer come on the bridge. The armed persons demanded the master heave up anchor but when they were notified that the tanker was in ballast they stole crew properties, kidnapped the master and one engineer and left the vessel in the tanker’s rescue boat,” IMB said.

Once the armed persons reached the shore they released the master and engineer who were able to make contact with the local police and later joined the tanker.

The crew members are reported to be safe and sound, as informed by the Luxembourg government.

The Benin Navy was notified to medevac the injured guards, who have been hospitalized and are said to be stable.

The 8,000-dwt St Marseille, built in 2008, is managed by ST Management, part of French Sea Tankers.

World Maritime News Staff

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