Union Maritime issued an update on the attack on its vessel, Duke, and the abduction of its crew of 20 Indian nationals in December
Oil tanker MT Duke was attacked in the Gulf of Guinea on 15 December 2019. Twenty crew members, all Indian nationals, were taken hostage.
UK-based Union Maritime and V.Ships Management, the vessel’s operators, said in a joint statement that 19 of the crew members were released while one as yet unnamed seafarer died in captivity.
The statement posted on the Union Maritime website said “It is with great regret that we have to report that one valued crew member, an Able Seaman, was evidently taken ill and died shortly after capture. We are seeking further information from those crew members that have been released and a full investigation will be held into the AB’s demise,”
“All our sympathies and condolences go out to next of kin, family and friends at this tragic time. The AB’s immediate family have been informed and are being supported.”
The company said all other crew members who have been released have undergone medical checks. They will be debriefed by the local authorities and then return home to their families.
The Gulf of Guinea saw heightened pirate activity throughout December 2019. In total in 2019, pirates operating in the Gulf of Guinea attacked nine vessels took 89 crew members hostage.