The U.S.-flagged, CRetriever, a 222-foot (67 meter) vessel owned by U.S. marine transport group Edison Chouest Offshore), was attacked early Wednesday leading to the abduction of its captain and chief engineer off the coast of Brass in Bayelsa State by Sea pirates, UK-based security firm AKE said.
The victims’ names whose whereabouts were not known as at press time, are said to be United States citizens.
Nigerian Navy confirms abduction
The Director of Nigerian Naval Information, Commodore Kabiru Aliyu, who confirmed the incident to newsmen in Yenagoa, said the Navy had launched a manhunt to rescue the Americans.
“The Nigerian Navy has received a report on the attack of a U.S.-flagged vessel, C-RETRIEVER. Accordingly, the Nigerian Navy has directed its Operational Commands and the Operational Bases to search and rescue the crew members and the vessel,” Aliyu said.
U.S. government expresses concern
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at a briefing that US government was seeking more information on the reports.
“We are seeking additional information so that we can contribute to the safe resolution of the situation.”
“More broadly, we are concerned by the disturbing increase in the incidence of maritime crime, including incidents of piracy off the coast of West Africa, specifically in the Gulf of Guinea,” Carney said.