Ship Hijack Update 5 crew members held hostage, 1 seriously injured

Five members of crew who were on board have been held hostage, with the Chief officer said to be seriously injured.

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Following an earlier report on the hijack of a merchant ship reportedly by Nigerian militants, Pulse has exclusively obtained pictures of the attacked vessel and other details.

The ship, named "Leon Dias" with IMO number 9279927 was hijacked in the evening on Friday, January 29, in the Gulf of Guinea in position 02 30N 005 35E.

It was gathered that the vessel was bound for Bata in Equatorial Guinea but changed its course following the attack and headed towards Cotonou, Benin.

 

Map shows the hijacked vessel is current in Cotonou. play

Map shows the hijacked vessel is current in Cotonou.

(Vessel Tracker)

 

Five members of crew have been held hostage, with the Chief officer said to be seriously injured.

According to Vessel Tracker, which cited a source at the Secure Anchorage Area, a joint project between the Nigerian navy and British-owned security companies, a high confidence level piracy report that the "Leon Dias" was attacked at around 0010 a.m has been issued.

Al though militants loyal to Biafra agitators have claimed responsibility for the hijack, the claim was not ascertained as at the time of filing this report.

Information for Leon Dias vessel play

Information for Leon Dias vessel

(Vessel tracker)

 

READ: Militants hijack merchant ship, threaten to blow it up if Biafra leader is not freed within 31 days

The vessel, Leon Dias (IMO: 9279927, MMSI: 636015324) is a Chemical carrier registered in Liberia. The vessel has a deadweight of 9055 tonnes and was built in 2003. The gross tonnage is 5720.

It would be recalled that in November 2015, Nigerian pirates had hijacked a cargo ship named Szafir (Sapphire) and held hostage the 16 Polish nationals on board.

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See Pulse gallery above for photos of the hijacked vessel