German shipping company MC-Schiffahrt has confirmed that eight crew members of the vessel MarMaltia were taken hostage by pirates following an attack on August 14, 2019.
According to a statement, the attack took place while the ship was at anchorage off Douala/Cameroon between 2300 and 2400 local time.
In a statement, MC-Schiffahrt said it had “assembled our emergency response team” and is doing its utmost to cooperate with all relevant authorities and crew managers.
“Our thoughts reach out to the concerned families, and we will take all efforts to support and assist them until their seafarers safely return back home,” MC-Shiffahrt said.
“All respective authorities have been informed accordingly and we will fully cooperate with them until the case is resolved.”
Piracy is a major issue in the shipping industry and there have been a series of attacks on merchant vessels in the West African shipping lanes, in particular near the Gulf of Guinea off the Niger Delta – the most dangerous area in the world.
PTI reported in August 2019 how the EOS Risk, a world-leading global security services company, reported 35 seafarers had been kidnapped in the first half of 2018, including 11 from the FWN Rapide, the highest number taken in a single attack that year.