Aeolos Management said the men had been held since 3 February by a criminal gang in Nigeria.

The Malta-flagged 281,000-dwt Kalamos (built 2000) was awaiting loading off Bonny with 23 crew when it came under attack. The vessel’s chief officer was killed in the incident.

The two Greeks and one Pakistani were taken to hospital after their ordeal ended.

“Following this examination and depending upon medical advice they will be flown home to be reunited with their families,” the manager said.

“Further support will be provided to the seafarers and their families when they return home and begin the recovery process from their traumatic experience.”