PortandTerminal.com, November 4, 2019
CONTONOU, BENIN – Nine crew members including the captain were taken hostage from the bulk carrier MV Bonita in the early morning hours of November 2 off Cotonou, Benin, according to the Norwegian shipowner J.J. Ugland.
According to the Benin port authorities, the ship was attacked almost 9 miles (15 km) outside the port’s entrance. The ship was then anchored in anticipation of being assigned port space to discharge an inbound cargo of gypsum, a mineral commonly used as fertiliser, destined for Benin.
Reports are stating that all of the crew members are Filipino and that the captain of the vessel is included amongst them.
The remaining crew notified local authorities and Norway-flagged MV Bonita docked at the port city of Cotonou later the same day, the company said in a statement.
J.J. Ugland noted that its Emergency Response Team “are handling this situation as per contingency plans, and they are in contact with relevant authorities.
“The families of the crewmembers have been contacted and will be kept informed by Ugland,” the company added.
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