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Gulf of Guinea: Container ship attacked, boarded by pirates

Christian Fernsby |
Managers Boden Denizcilik AS report that at appx 05.25 UTC this morning its container vessel Mozart came under attack of pirates whilst sailing in the Gulf of Guinea some 100 nautical miles off the coast of Sao Tome.

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Container ship Mozart was attacked and reportedly, boarded by pirates, at 0540 UTC Jan 23, WNW of Sao Tome, Gulf of Guinea, while en route from Lagos Nigeria to Cape Town South Africa.

The ship stopped shortly after boarding, went adrift, was still adrift at the time of last received AIS position 0615 UTC Jan 23.

Pirates kidnapped 15 sailors and killing one, and Turkey’s military was planning a rescue operation on Sunday, Al Jazeera reported.

Turkey’s Maritime Directorate said the crew initially locked themselves in a safe area but the pirates forced entry after six hours. During the struggle, one crew member on board the M/V Mozart died.

After taking most of the crew on Saturday, the pirates left the ship in the Gulf of Guinea with three sailors on board, state-run Anadolu news agency said. The vessel is currently heading to Gabon’s Port-Gentil.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke twice to the senior officer remaining on the ship, Furkan Yaren, the Turkish presidency said in a tweet. It added Erdogan issued orders for the recovery of the kidnapped crew.

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