Pirates Attack Oil Platform Supply Ship C-Retriever off Nigeria; 2 Americans Kidnapped
Pirates attacked an oil platform supply vessel in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Nigeria on Wednesday, kidnapping two American citizens in the process.
Reuters reports the C-Retriever, a US-flagged ship owned by the American marine transport group Edison Chouest Offshore, was attacked by pirates early Wednesday as it sailed near Brass, Nigeria in the Gulf of Guinea. The captain and chief engineer of the ship, both Americans, were abducted by the attackers.
A State Department official told reporters that more information is being sought about the incident and that the government is “closely monitoring” the situation.
Fox News reports the US Navy is not yet involved in any attempts to rescue the hostages and capture or kill the pirates. A Dutch ship is nearby, with 90 marines on board, but has not yet been ordered to intervene.
AFP reports US, Nigerian, British, Spanish and Dutch naval forces conducted a training exercise in the Gulf of Guinea last week as part of efforts to curb piracy in the region.
The Gulf of Guinea, which is roughly the same size as the Gulf of Mexico, has become one of the most dangerous bodies of water in the world. Around 30 percent of US and 40 percent of Europe’s oil passes through the Gulf, with shipping lanes threatened as piracy spreads from Nigeria to neighboring and nearby nations such as Côte d’Ivoire, Benin and Togo.
In a separate incident on Wednesday, three Nigerian soldiers were killed by armed robbers attacked a ship carrying construction workers in the oil-producing Rivers state.