The 5th of January at exactly 08:00 am was a very scary moment for a foreign crew 60 nautical miles away from the coast of Bonny Island in Rivers state on the way coming from Port Noire, Congo to Nigeria. The crew’s merchant ship, carrying general cargo, was hijacked by suspected sea pirates.
Twenty-five crew members from different nationalities including: eight South Africans, eight Filipinos, five Indians, two Brits and two individuals from Thailand were abducted from the ship.
According to Captain Segun Soyemi, an officer of Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS), ” we got information that a merchant ship entering the nation was attacked by an unknown number of sea pirates. We considered the situation as an emergency that demanded urgent attention by deploying troops with a war ship (NNS) in combination with a gunboat lead by captain Chiedozie Okehie who attacked the ship named Safmarine Kuramo.
All the pirates fled as a result of strategic shooting by Nigerian Navy troops which lead to the rescue of all the crew members without any harm as they were all locked in the engine room of the ship. The female Captain Zetta Gous-Conradie, a South African, who described the experience as horrific, was so courageous, as she assisted the repel operation lead by the Nigerian Navy.
The navy confirmed their commitment to the security of the nation through the water ways. This was disclosed in a statement rendered by Captain Okojie on behalf of Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete.