Published: Sun, February 04, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Ship with 22 Indian sailors on board missing off West Africa

Ship with 22 Indian sailors on board missing off West Africa

A fuel tanker with several worldwide crew members including 22 Indian sailors, has been missing for the past two days near West Africa, the ship's owners have announced.

Another official has said that the Ministry of Shipping has also contacted its counterparts in Nigeria and Benin to help locate the missing vessel.

The India mission in Nigeria was in touch with the authorities concerned and the situation was being constantly monitored, the MEA said.

Raveesh Kumar informed that the Indian authorities based in Nigeria have sought their help in locating the missing oil tanker. Also, he shared the 24-hour helpline number +234-9070343860 which has been set up by the Embassy for the information of those missing sailors.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

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B R Shekar, chief surveyor who holds additional charge as director general of shipping, Mumbai said: "The owners of the ship lost contact with their tanker, MT Marine Express, on February 1 when it was in Cotonou anchorage at Benin".

The Panama-registered vessel tanker vessel, owned by Mumbai-based Anglo Eastern shipping company, has been carrying gasoline worth almost 8 million US dollars when it lost contact some three days back.

As per media reports, it is suspected that the ship has been hijacked in West Africa. Authorities have been alerted and are responding. It informed the families that it had lost contact with Marine Express.

MT Barret, went missing off the coast of Benin at the beginning of January.

In January, MT Barret went missing but the crew, majority Indians, were released six days later after reportedly paying a ransom, the Hindustan Times said.

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