ATHENS, Greece – A Greek ship management company says it has lost contact with one of its tankers off the coast of western Africa, where several vessels have been attacked by pirates.
Grace Management S.A. says the Bahamas-flagged Orfeas was carrying 32,000 metric tons (35,000 tons) of gasoline to Abidjan in the Ivory Coast. The ship has a crew of two Greeks and 22 Filipinos.
The managers said Monday they lost contact with the vessel on Saturday. The Orfeas had anchored off Abidjan, sailed south without orders or explanation and may be heading for Lagos, Nigeria.
Pirates are active off West Africa and have drastically increased attacks recently. Usually, they release the vessels and crews after stealing the cargo — without going through the process of demanding ransom.