Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ship Hijacking in Nigeria

The hijackings by Somalian Pirates have been in the news quite a lot the last year.

We often forget there are other hotbeds for hijackings - Nigeria being one of them.

A tanker was hijacked in May 2009. Here is the account of the hijacking and release by the military.

One note, what I found interesting is the tanker was hired by the Nigerian Oil company to import refined oil into the country. Nigeria is a huge oil producing state, but they have had problems for years not being able to get it refined locally.

From allAfrica.com

Abuja — Napoleon Emphasis was the captain of an oil tanker ship, MC Spirit chartered by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) to bring 20,000 metric tonnes of refined petrol (PMS) to the country on Wednesday, May 13, 2009.

I was actually taken by surprise. There was no sign that the militants were there. I am sure they also took the soldiers by surprise. Almost immediately, their boats numbering over 10 were all over the place. Some of them came in boats while those that first attacked us appeared from the nearby bush. They were very many and they appeared from all directions. I tried to manoeuvre my ship but no way. The militants were all over the place. Before I knew what was happening, they were hanging on my ship.

"The day the soldiers went to attack the camp to rescue us, the militants were also taken unawares by the counter-attack. There was confusion there. At first, the militants didn't know whether to run and leave us. They later summed up the courage and asked us to come out to the open and be waving our shirts so that the military helicopters did not kill them. But when they realised that soldiers were on ground and were advancing toward us, the militants took to their heels.

click here for complete article

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