Turkish seafarers kidnapped in Nigeria released

The 10 seafarers returned home Sunday after being kidnapped 15 July.

Ten Turkish seafarers kidnapped in the Gulf of Guinea and taken to Nigeria last month have been released and have returned to their homeland, local media reports say.

The seafarers, taken hostage aboard the Kadioglu Maritime-connected 8,900-dwt Paksoy-1 (built 1997) 15 July were released Friday and arrived back in Turkey Sunday.

Pirates seize 10 seafarers from cargoship

Contact made with Turkish crew’s captors

Hakan Cakar, one of the victims, told media that they were held in “the woods” in “tough” conditions.

“There were snakes, scorpions, bugs. It was a swamp. We don’t know what their goals were. They didn’t tell us anything,” he said. “Initially, they were tough on us, then they behaved well. There was no physical violence against us.”

The ship was 230km off Brass, Nigeria when it was attacked en route to the Ivory Coast from Douala, Cameroon.

There were 18 crew members aboard the ship when it was attacked. The Ghanaian navy escorted the ship into port after the incident. Kadioglu Maritme made contact with the seafarers 10 days later.

The Gulf of Guinea is the most dangerous area for piracy in the world, according to statistics from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).

Of the 75 seafarers taken hostage on board or kidnapped for ranson in 2019, 62 were in the gulf.

“Armed pirates in these high-risk waters kidnapped 27 crewmembers in the first half of 2019, and 25 in the same period in 2018,” the IMB’s second quarter report read.

“Two chemical tankers were hijacked, as well as a tug that was then used in another attack. Of the nine vessels fired upon worldwide, eight were off the coast of Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer. These attacks took place on average 65 nautical miles off the coast — meaning they are classified as acts of piracy.”

Source: TradeWinds