Russian captain taken by pirates off Nigerian coast says crew alive

The Russian captain of a German-owned cargo ship abducted by pirates off the West African coast of Nigeria has informed relatives that all the crew members are alive, Russian state news agency, RIA Novosti, reported on Thursday.

The ship, BBC Caribbean, was raided earlier this week by pirates who pulled up alongside the vessel in a motorboat and opened fire.

Several crew members, seven Russians and one Ukrainian, were abducted, state media reported.

“The remaining crew was left on the vessel and are under way to a safe location,” German company, Briese Schiffahrt, said in emailed comments, confirming that eight crew members were abducted.

The ship, which did not contain cargo, had been heading from Cameroon to Ghana when it was captured near Nigeria’s Bonny Island, the company said.

Hijacking attempts are relatively common in the location.

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