Nigerian Pirates Release Six Demeter Crewmen

Nigerian pirates have released the six crew members of the container ship Demeter who were kidnapped on October 21 off the coast of Nigeria.

The six crew men, including the captain, were abducted from the Liberian-flagged vessel, while underway, 50 nautical miles south-west of Bonny, Nigeria, on 21 October. The remaining 12 crew had then headed the ship to safe anchorage.

According to a spokesman from the German shipping company Peter Doehle Schiffahrts-KG, as quoted by the Associated Press, the sailors are all in good health and returned to their families. He provided no further details.

The Liberia-flagged 3,000 TEU container ship was attacked before entering the port of Onne, Nigeria. Eight pirates boarded the vessel early in the morning, taking six hostage and leaving the remaining 12 crewmen unharmed. The kidnapping victims include the Demeter's cook, bosun, second engineer, second officer, captain and chief mate.

The IMB has so far recorded 20 successful pirate attacks involving 39 crewmembers in waters off Nigeria for the nine months ending in September this year. Almost all of them occurred while the vessel was under way, and the attackers’ objectives frequently included kidnapping.