How the Navy rescued 13 foreigners from sea pirates

The Nigerian Navy has rescued 13 foreign nationals who were on a merchant ship leaving Nigeria for Cameroon from sea pirates.

This was revealed by the Commanding Officer of the Nigerian Navy Ship, Nwamba, Capt. Mustapha Hassan in Bonny Local Government Area while speaking with newsmen.

Hassan said the merchant ship, MT Vectis Osprey, had sailed into Nigeria from Malabo in Equatorial Guinea, a week earlier with general consignments.

Hassan explained that the ship was attacked by nine sea pirates while making its way to Cameroon after it had discharged the goods.

According to Hassan, the crew members had seven Philippines, two Romanians, one Russian, one Polish, one Indian, and one Croatian.

He, however, stated that the sea pirates jumped into the sea and escaped as a result of the superior firepower of the special forces of the Nigerian Navy.

He said, “On Aug. 17, MT Vectis Osprey, a British ship was attacked by sea pirates about 20 nautical miles off the coast of Bonny Island Fairway Buoy in Rivers.

“We got a distress alert from the operations centre at the naval headquarters which dispatched NNS Nwamba with NNS Okpabana to shadow the operation.

“On getting the may-day distress call, we immediately set course to intercept and rescue the merchant ship from hijack by sea pirates.

“On arrival, Special Forces attacked the nine heavily armed pirates who jumped into the sea and escaped apparently due to superior gunfire and tactical awareness of troops.

“The operation was largely successful as all 13 foreign crew members, including the captain, are safe and unhurt, while cargo on board the ship is intact.”

The Captain of MT Vectis Osprey, Sobol Evgeny told newsmen that the pirates sailed on a blue boat and were fully armed with AK 47 assault rifles.

He said, “On realising that we couldn’t stop the pirates from boarding our ship, we immediately locked ourselves inside the ship citadel (safe room) and thereafter sent distress calls to the Nigerian Navy.

“The navy responded promptly and rescued us. If not for their (navy) quick response, we would have been taken hostage or killed.”

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