The sailors were kidnapped on Wednesday.
The United States Embassy in Nigeria has confirmed the kidnap of two American sailors off Nigeria’s coast.
Pirates operating off Nigeria’s coastal waters on Wednesday attacked an oil vessel and took the two Americans hostage.
The abduction was confirmed by the Information Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Rhonda Ferguson-Augustus, who explained that the Embassy would soon release a statement on the kidnap.
The U.S.-flagged oil export vessel, C-Retriever, was said to have been a target by the pirates in the Gulf of Guinea, which has in recent times become notorious for such incidents.
The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) in its latest report had identified Nigerian waters as the main base of sea piracy in the Gulf of Guinea region, despite the drop in the number of incidents on the world’s high seas since 2006.
The bureau, an arm of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), said in its IMB Piracy Report that Nigeria accounted for 29 piracy incidents between January and September this year, up from 21 in the corresponding period last year.
In August, the Nigerian Navy reportedly killed 12 pirates when they attempted to flee from a fuel tanker they had hijacked off the country’s coast.
The captain and chief engineer of C-Retreiver attacked on Wednesday morning were reportedly abducted by the pirates aboard the oil vessel owned by Louisiana-based Edison Chouest Offshore.
The spokesperson of the Nigerian Navy, Kabiru Aliyu, said though the command was yet to receive any formal report of the kidnap of the Americans, it has however issued directives to its operatives to ensure that they search for and effect the rescue of the affected persons.
Mr. Aliyu said it was difficult for the agency to know the exact location the incident took place off Nigeria’s coast.
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