Pirates release oil tanker Cotton hijacked off West Africa

By Piracy

 Pirates have freed the oil product tanker Cotton and all 24 Indian crew members after the ship was hijacked off the Gabon (West Africa) Coast a week ago. The information is from the vessel's operator.

An outburst of pirate activity in the Gulf of Guinea, including the waters off Nigeria (the number 1 oil producer on the continent)is jacking up costs for shipping companies. Bandits attacked the Maltese-flagged Cotton 10 days ago near port of Gentil, this is the first attack in 5 years.

Geden Lines, the Turkish company that operates the hijacked oil tanker announced few days ago that the pirates left the ship and the ship is sailing.

"The master has confirmed that all 24 Indian crew members are safe and in good condition. The vessel is now on her way to a secure port."

The vessels off the coast of East Africa can sail with high speed and with armed security on board, but this is not possible when moving in West Africa. There is no anti-piracy missions in the area.

"All vessels operating in the Gulf of Guinea should remain aware of and prepared for the risk of armed robbery, hijack and kidnap for ransom for the foreseeable future," security firm AKE announced in a report.