2 Americans on an oil supply vessel were kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Nigeria while on an U.S.-flagged oil platform supply vessel. The U.S. State Department is monitoring this situation closely and it appears the pirates made it back to shore before action could be taken, which is causing issues.
This attack follows days of escalating pirate violence off the coast of Nigeria. Just a few days ago a Nigerian security vessel was attacked by pirates.
Pirates have attacked a U.S.-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.
The State Department is “closely monitoring” reports of the incident, Marie Harf, deputy spokesperson, said on Thursday.
“Obviously our concern is their safe return,” she said. “At this point we do not have information that would indicate this was an act of terrorism.”
A law enforcement official also told Fox News that the FBI is involved in the investigation and they believe it could be ransom case.
“The biggest fear is that the kidnappers make it to shore with the two Americans,” the official said. “And it looks like they may have. That is certainly not ideal.”
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.