Nigerian Navy rescues hijacked oil vessel

The navy rescued the oil vessel less than 24 hours after t was hijacked.

The Nigerian Navy has rescued a Singaporean oil tanker hijacked off the Nigerian coast on Tuesday night.

This was disclosed by Navy spokesman, Kabir Aliyu, on Wednesday.

The Singapore-owned vessel, MT Abu Dhabi Star, was hijacked by pirates on Tuesday night when it was sailing towards the open sea.

All crew members on board, including 22 Indian sailors, were declared safe after the rescue. They had locked themselves in a cabin in the vessel to evade being manhandled by the pirates. The Abu Dhabi Star is currently being escorted into the port of Lagos.

A spokesman for Pioneer Ship Management Services LLC, Pat Adamson, said a Nigerian Navy vessel pulled along the MT Abu Dhabi Star and took control of the vessel after it rushed towards the ship as soon as it received distress signals.

Mr. Aliyu said the hijackers had fled the vessel before the navy force took full control of the oil laden tanker. He said the navy used two ships and a helicopter to effect the rescue.

The hijack of oil tankers around the Nigerian coastline has surged recently. Last month, two similar hijackings occurred along the coast near Togo. In both incidents the oil was siphoned into other containers before the vessels and crew were released.

The navy is yet to capture any of the pirates and could not explain how the pirates in the latest incident escaped capture.

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