The Marshall Islands-flagged tanker MT Barrett and its 22 crew members have been released from captivity after a six-day ordeal, UK-based tanker owner and operator Union Maritime informed earlier today.
In a statement, the company confirmed that: “MT Barrett has been released after a Gulf of Guinea piracy incident lasting six days. All crew are safe. We are extremely grateful to the many parties that assisted in achieving the successful resolution of this incident,” a company update said.
“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 lost contact with the ship on January 10, when the ship was at anchor off Benin, West Africa.
The company activated its emergency response plan and alerted regional maritime authorities and other vessels in the area.
According to Union Maritime, the exact nature of the incident only became clear late on January 12, 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 January 16,” the update reads.
“We sincerely appreciate the support and efforts of all involved, including the authorities in Benin, Togo, Nigeria and India.”