Three Romanian seafarers on board the 2006-built Handysize product tanker ‘Histria Ivory’ were alleged to have been kidnapped by pirates off Togo, according to Romania's Free Trade Union of Navigators (SLN) and the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE).
At about 19.30 hours last Sunday, pirates attacked the tanker about 20 miles off Lome, Togo. The majority of the crew took shelter in the ship's citadel, but three Romanian nationals were abducted. The pirates fled the scene after the kidnapping, and local authorities escorted ‘Histria Ivory’ to a safe anchorage.
The vessel was reportedly damaged during the attack, but none of the crew was injured, according to the MAE.
"The Free Trade Union of Navigators warns that in the Gulf of Guinea, the rate of pirate incidents is increasing in intensity, which affects seafarers and global shipping," the SLN said in a statement. "In high-risk areas, it is necessary to increase vigilance on the bridge and tune radar for small distances to prevent any attempted attack to succeed. Also, the piracy procedures must be well received by each crew member and followed precisely in case of piracy incidents."