Kidnapped 19 crew of MT DUKE released, 1 died. V.SHIPS Statement.

CREW RELEASE MV Duke. Statement issued by Union Maritime Ltd, and V.Ships Management (India) PvT, Ltd Owners and Managers respectively of MT DUKE. London January 19, 2020:
Following the attack on tanker DUKE and abduction of 20 crew members on December 15, we can confirm that 19 of the crew members taken hostage were today released by the criminal gang holding them. It is with great regret that we have to report that one valued crew member, an Able Seaman, was evidently taken ill and died shortly after capture.
We are seeking further information from those crew members that have been released and a full investigation will be held into the AB demise. All our sympathies and condolences go out to next of kin, family and friends at this tragic time. The AB’s immediate family have been informed and are being supported.
All the crew who have been released have undergone medical checks and are reported to be well, given the circumstances of their ordeal. They will be debriefed by the local authorities and then return home to their families with all possible speed where they will continue to receive our full support and counselling.

Initial story:
Tanker attacked in Gulf of Guinea, all Indian crew kidnapped UPDATES
December 16, 2019

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.
UPDATE Dec 16: As of 0530 UTC Dec 16, AIS off during last 22 hours.
V.Ships Ship Management Statement
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.

Product tanker DUKE, IMO 9262259, dwt 19117, built 2003, flag Marshall Islands, manager V SHIPS.

Author

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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.