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The offshore patrol vessel ‘Serviola’ frees a Nigerian-flagged ship hijacked in the Gulf of Guinea - Navy News - Armada Española - Ministerio de Defensa - Gobierno de España

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Saturday, 20 July 2019 - document to 12:04:32
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The offshore patrol vessel ‘Serviola’ frees a Nigerian-flagged ship hijacked in the Gulf of Guinea
Wednesday, April 10, 2019


In the course of a scheduled maritime security patrol mission in the Gulf of Guinea, the Spanish Navy OPV ‘Serviola’ managed to rescue the crew of a Nigerian-flagged ship who had been held hostage by a group of nine pirates. When Spanish servicemen approached the merchant ship, the pirates immediately ran away.

The intervention took place when the ‘Serviola’ detected strange movements and odd behavior of the merchant ship, spotting also a small craft nearby. When the ship did not answer the calls from the OPV, a military detachment was sent to investigate and conduct a VBS (Visit, Board and Search) mission.

During the approach maneuvers the ‘Serviola’ detected the small craft leaving the area at great speed and then received a call from the Nigerian ship informing that they had been hijacked for 4 days. The presence of the patrol boat forced the pirates to abandon the ship and flee.

The merchant ship’s captain also informed the Spanish marines that they were unable to answer the initial calls as they were being threatened with AK-47 rifles and grenade launchers. The pirates robbed all the money and valuable objects they had as well as their provisions before leaving the ship.

The OPV gave them enough food and water for a few days and continued with her patrol duties, while the Nigerian merchant vessel headed towards the nearest port: Lagos.

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