The incident was reported in proximity of Nigerian waters and specifically off Pointe-Noire, Congo, on 29 October 2018, where 8 crew members from the oil and chemical tanker 'Anuket Amber', and four crew members from the tug 'Ark Tze', were taken hostage by a group of pirates.
Norbulk Shipping, as managers of the Anuket Amber, and RK8 Offshore Shipmanagement, as managers of the Ark Tze, made the release announcement Monday:
Norbulk Shipping and RK8 Offshore are delighted to confirm that the 12 crew members taken by armed men from the tanker Anuket Amber and the anchor handling tug supply vessel Ark Tze on 29th October 2018 while off the Congolese coast have been released and are safe and in good spirits. We are extremely grateful to the many parties that assisted in achieving the successful resolution of this incident,
...the companies informed.
They also praised the efforts by authorities in Latvia, Philippines, Russia, Ukraine, and Nigeria.
We are focused now on continuing to support the crew and their families. The crew were met by senior representatives from Norbulk Shipping and RK8 Offshore in Nigeria before returning to their home countries and their loved ones. The safety and security of all our crews is our highest priority. We operate to a rigorous safety and security protocol, with crews repeatedly drilled in all emergency procedures.
The organizations did not wish to share further details of the release of seafarers for safety reasons.
In piracy report for the first three quarters of 2018, IMB reported a total of 156 incidents. The Gulf of Guinea accounted for 57 of the 156 reported incidents. Most of these incidents have been reported in and around Nigeria (41).