Five taken from tanker off Nigeria in early morning raid

News of fresh hostages comes just days after Bourbon crew members were released.

Five crew members have been kidnapped from a small tanker off the coast of Nigeria, according to unconfirmed reports.

The 6436-dwt Sampatiki (built 2008) is said to have reported via VHF that she has been attacked by pirates and hostages taken.

Details of the latest incident off Nigeria come in the latest report from UK-based independent security brokerage ASKET.

Some eight pirates are said to have attacked the ship on Saturday at 00:40 hrs in position 04’20”N, 005’10”E, some 30 miles from Bonga.

The pirates, said to be armed, remained onboard until 04:30 hrs before leaving with five hostages.

No other injuries were reported, but some equipment aboard the ship was said to have been damaged. The Sampitiki later returned to port

On Friday Bourbon Offshore confirmed that two crewmen kidnapped from one of its anchor handlers off Nigeria in late February have been freed.

The French-owned offshore vessel operator said the two men, who were unnamed, were both in good health.

The Nigerian and a Russian were seized when pirates raided the 7,444-bhp Bourbon Liberty 251 (built 2011) on 23 February 2016.

Bourbon did not disclose how the men had been freed, whether it had been a military rescue operation or the payment of a ransom.