Tanker attacked in Gulf of Guinea, all Indian crew kidnapped UPDATES

Vessel was attacked by pirates in Gulf of Guinea in vicinity 04 00N 002 05E, 130 nm SE of Lome Togo, at 0800 UTC Dec 15. The ship wasn’t identified, but according to available information, it’s tanker DUKE, en route from Luanda to Lome. Reportedly only one crew avoided pirates, the rest were kidnapped.
Product tanker DUKE, IMO 9262259, dwt 19117, built 2003, flag Marshall Islands, manager V SHIPS.

UPDATE Dec 16: As of 0530 UTC Dec 16, AIS off during last 22 hours.

V.Ships Ship Management Statements

Chennai December 16, 2019
MV Duke IMO 9262259 Attack: Update 1
V.Ships Ship Management (India) PvT Ltd., managers of the oil/chemical product tanker “Duke” confirm that following the attack by pirates 110 miles off Benin on December 15, a Togo naval patrol boat has made contact with the vessel. A further tug with new sea-staff, including a Master, is proceeding to the MV Duke with a Naval escort, to resume command of the Marshal Island flag tanker.
It is also confirmed that 20 crew members, all Indian nationals, were abducted from the vessel, leaving one Nigerian cadet on- board.
Owners and Managers are working closely with all the appropriate Authorities and specialists to secure the safe and speedy release of the crew members being held, this being the upmost priority.
Families of those kidnapped are being informed of the situation.
No operational details will be provided going- forward that might jeopardise the safety and safe return of those being held.

Chennai, December 15, 2019
MV DUKE IMO NO.9262259: Hijack
V.Ships Ship Management (India) PvT Ltd., managers of the oil/chemical product tanker “Duke” report that contact was lost with the vessel in the early hours of this morning (15/12) local time. The Marshal Island’s flag vessel was some 110 miles SE of Lomé, Togo, where she was heading for discharge a cargo of fuel oil loaded at Luanda.
It is understood from the IMB piracy reporting centre and MDAT-GOG that there was a pirate attack between 0700 hrs- 0800 hrs local time involving kidnap of the crew leaving one Nigerian cadet on-board. It has yet to be confirmed that this attack involved the MV Duke which has a crew of 20 Indian nationals on-board and one Nigerian national.
Owners and Managers of the MV Duke are working closely with the relevant local Authorities and Flag State to try to establish contact with the vessel and crew, their well-being and safety being the prime focus and concern at this time.
Managers are contacting the families of crew members to keep them fully informed on the situation.
Further information will be provided as it becomes available.



My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.