Armed pirates have kidnapped five crew members from an offshore support vessel in the latest pirate attack off Brass, Nigeria.
According to data provided by IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, pirates armed with machine guns in two speed boats approached the unnamed vessel while it was underway some 32 nautical miles off the coast of Brass, midday on March 9.
The ship’s Captain immediately notified the naval escort security boat which maneuvered to engage the attackers. One speed boat closed in from port side of the vessel and crossed the bow, while the other speed boat exchanged fire with the security boat.
Alarm was raised and the crew went to the engine room, while all power was shut down.
The pirates boarded the vessel with the aid of an elongated ladder and broke into the accommodation, vandalized the cabins and took crew belongings and vessel’s properties.
They then proceeded to the engine room, kidnapped five men and escaped. The remaining crew members sailed the vessel under escort to a safe anchorage.
IMB Piracy Reporting Centre added that one Nigerian Navy armed guard was reported killed in the exchange of fire between the naval security boat and the pirates.
Relevant authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.