[www.inewsguyana.com] – Pirates have attacked a US-flagged oil platform supply vessel off the coast of Nigeria and kidnapped two Americans, a senior U.S. official tells Fox News.
The attack on the C-Retriever ship, which is owned by Louisiana-based Edison Chouest Offshore, happened early Wednesday, UK-based security firm AKE and two security sources told Reuters. The ship is around 200-feet long and was sailing near Brass, Nigeria in the Gulf of Guinea.
“Things are definitely getting more intense here,” a source told the maritime industry news website gCaptain.
The captain and the chief engineer of the C-Retriever reportedly were the ones onboard who were kidnapped.
A U.S. defense official told Reuters that the State Department and the FBI are leading the American response to the kidnappings.
A Dutch ship in the vicinity of the retriever has around 90 Marines onboard, but they have not been tasked yet for any operations. The U.S. Navy is not currently involved.
The pirates attacked the ship after a separate, unrelated attack on a Nigerian security boat that killed members of the Nigerian military’s Joint Task Force, gCaptain reports.
“This is the second attack on a security boat in the past three days,” the site’s source said.
Edison Chouest did not immediately return a request for comment from gCaptain Wednesday.
Pirate attacks off Nigeria’s coast have jumped by a third this year and have caused ship insurance costs to rise.
“The piracy threat is spreading even further through the waters of West Africa, and the attacks have been mounting, even as global rates of reported piracy are at their lowest since 2006,” Michael Frodl of U.S.-based consultancy C-Level Maritime Risks told Reuters. [Fox News]