The Indian Shipping Ministry said Nigerian naval forces rescued 23 Indian sailors from a Singapore-flag oil tanker that had been hijacked by pirates off the coast of Lagos on Tuesday.
“We have received information that all the crew members are safe,” officials said in New Delhi.
The MT Abu Dhabi Star, built in 2008, was reportedly seized by armed pirates as it sailed into the open sea in the Gulf of Guinea.
Ship operator Pioneer Ship Management Services said the crew members locked themselves in a safe room when pirates boarded the ship. “International authorities were immediately alerted and pirates fled the vessel on seeing the naval frigate,” the Dubai-based company said.
The 51,069 deadweight-ton tanker is owned by Singapore-based Abu Dhabi Star Pte Ltd.
The Shipping Ministry in a separate statement said African pirates are currently holding captive 43 Indian sailors on five foreign-flag vessels, including 17 men aboard the Panama-flag MV Royal Grace captured March 2, and 11 aboard the Liberian-flag MT Smyrni seized May 10.