At the time, the J.J. Ugland vessel was at anchor, waiting for berth to discharge inbound cargo of gypsum, mostly used as fertiliser.

According to a statement of the company, the remaining members of crew contacted the local authorities and later in the same day, the Norway-flagged vessel docked at the port city of Cotonou.

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J.J. Ugland added that its Emergency Response Team is "handling this situation as per contingency plans" together with all the relevant authorities.

Moreover, the company added that the families of the crew-members have been contacted and will be further kept informed by Ugland.

In an update, it was confirmed that the captain of MV Bonita is one of the nine members taken off the vessel. Moreover, the remaining crew-members on board are in a good condition despite of the circumstances, and are all being cared for.

The company further stated that they will accommodate the wish of any remaining crew-members wanting to leave the vessel.

It was highlighted that "we are continuously working on the situation, and are doing our utmost to bring the nine crew-members to safety. Their families will be gathered as soon as possible." 

What is more, in January 2, pirates attacked and boarded the container ship MSC Mandy off Benin, in the Gulf of Guinea, West Africa, kidnapping six crew-members. The vessel in particular was sailing through the Gulf of Guinea when the attack took place.

In June, One Earth Future and Stable Seas launched the 2018 State of Maritime Piracy, focusing on the human cost of maritime piracy. The report has expanded its attention from just piracy in Somalia, to the Gulf of Guinea, Southeast Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Indeed, it was highlighted that in 2018, the Gulf of Guinea was the area worst affected by piracy and maritime robbery of vessels worldwide, with number of incidents increasing by 15% over 2017. Also, the number of attacks where crew members were held for ransom on hijacked vessels or kidnapped for ransom from vessels was alarmingly high.