Nigeria says security agencies are conducting a "spirited search" for the Polish captain and four crew members abducted from a cargo ship.

Spokeswoman Lami Tumaka of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency said Saturday the attacked ship MV Szafir and 11 other crew have been rescued from a few miles offshore.

Tumaka said the Nigerian Navy and other agencies want to free the hostages and arrest perpetrators.

Poland reported the ship was damaged when pirates fired on it Thursday. It said officials were waiting for a ransom demand. Kidnapping for ransom is rampant in Nigeria with hostages generally released unharmed if ransoms are paid.

Polish ship owner EuroAfrica said the Cyprus-flagged Szafir was traveling from Belgium carrying metal cranes.