Two crew members of the Dutch reefer Water Phoenix were kidnapped by a group of pirates off the coast of Nigeria on 8 September. This has been reported by spokesman Cor Radings of the Groningen shipping company Seatrade. The other sixteen people on board are still on the ship and they are doing well.
A special team from Seatrade is trying to make contact with the abducted crew members in order to speed up their safe return, which they have not succeeded in so far. There has also been no contact with those holding them, says Radings. The fact that no contact has yet been made is not uncommon in situations like this, the spokesman says. ‘It can sometimes take a while. We hope it happens as soon as possible, so we can look for a way to get the two men home.’
The shipping company is in close contact with the authorities in Nigeria. After the attack, the authorities sent a patrol ship to bring in the Water Phoenix to the port of Lagos under escort.
On Dutch NPO Radio 1 Radings spoke of ‘a particularly worrying situation’. According to him, it is an area where piracy incidents are more frequent. Those on board are sometimes kidnapped in order to get ransom. The company stresses that it does not wish to divulge any further information in order not to endanger the safety of the two abductees.
The Water Phoenix sails under the Liberian flag. The ship had a total of eighteen crew members from Russia and the Philippines. The ship was on its way from IJmuiden to Lagos.