In the Gulf of Guinea, a pirate attack on the Greek ship Tonsberg. Six crew members are abducted.
Among the captured sailors is a Pole, the Polish Foreign Ministry said yesterday. The Polish minister says that he:
“I received information about the abduction of the crew members of the Tonsberg ship in the Gulf of Guinea and confirms that one of the abducted is a citizen of Poland. He contacted diplomats from “other countries” as well as the shipping company to coordinate efforts to find and rescue the hostages. “
Danish Navy, reports iefimerida, announced the kidnapping of the Tonsberg crew in international waters off the island of Bioko, Equatorial Guinea. According to the Ministry of Defense, one of its frigates, Esbern Snare, which has been patrolling the area since November, pursued pirates who fled Tonsberg with their hostages in a small boat.
The ship was followed by a helicopter frigate – at a distance so as not to endanger the lives of the hostages. However, he was forced to end the pursuit when pirates entered Nigeria’s territorial waters – the Danish Navy’s warfare rules did not allow him to continue tracking.
In addition to the six hostages, there is one wounded man who received medical attention on the frigate. The remaining 14 crew members are alive and well and are on Tonsberg, a spokesman for the Danish Defense Ministry said. According to the Marine Traffic website, Tonsberg is now off the coast of Benin.
In recent years, pirate attacks on ships in the Gulf of Guinea have become noticeably more frequent in order to kidnap their crew members and obtain ransom. The bay stretches 5,700 kilometers inland to West Africa, and attacks are mainly carried out by pirates from Nigeria.
The area has become a hub for illegal maritime activity, accounting for 99% of the abductions of pirate sailors last year, according to a report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Prevention and the Stable Seas Research Institute.