Hijacked tanker released

Jan 19 2018

A small tanker reported to have been hijacked while at anchor off Benin, Gulf of Guinea, has been released.

Owner and manager Union Maritime confirmed that the 2005-built 11,999 dwt products tanker ‘Barrett’ had been released after a piracy incident, which lasted six days. All crew were reported to be safe.

“We are extremely grateful to the many parties that assisted in achieving the successful resolution of this incident. We are focused now on supporting the crew and their families. The crew are safely back in Lagos, Nigeria and were met by senior representatives from Union Maritime and the technical managers,” the company said in a statement.

‘Barrett’ was anchored off Benin, West Africa when communications were lost during the morning of 10th January. Union Maritime’s emergency response plan was immediately activated and regional maritime authorities and other vessels in the area were alerted.

The exact nature of the incident only became clear late on 12th January when those holding the vessel made contact with the company. A resolution process began, which ultimately led to the release of the vessel and all crew on board on 16th January, the company said, adding that it appreciated the support and efforts of all involved, including the authorities in Benin, Togo, Nigeria and India.

Union Maritime explained that the company regularly operates from ports in this region. “We operate to a rigorous safety and security protocol, with crews repeatedly drilled in all emergency procedures,” the company stressed. 

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