Quick reaction by the Nigerian Navy saw a hijacked fishing vessel recovered within hours of being hijacked at the weekend.
Praesidium International reports the Chinese flagged fishing vessel Hailufeng 11 was hijacked with 18 crew members on Saturday. The first indication all was not well came when communication with the Dalian Hailufeng Oceanic Fisheries vessel was lost.
This saw the Nigerian Navy alerted and fast patrol boat NNS Nguru was despatched with a detachment of Special Boat Service (SBS) soldiers aboard.
All crew members were released unharmed and 10 suspected pirates apprehended. The Hailufeng 11 was escorted to Lagos.
Praesidium further reported the incident could have happened 24 hours earlier than reported with generally dispatched intelligence supporting a 16 May hijacking. This was when the automatic identification system (AIS) was turned off and communication interrupted.
“Following refusal to respond to any calls (from Nguru) the SBS detachment went ahead with opposed boarding while the fishing vessel was proceeding at nine knots. About 25 minutes later the SBS detachment had taken control, the crew was released and pirates apprehended.”