Posted on August 21, 2018 by Ashleigh Cowie
A Panama-flagged chemical tanker is believed to have been hijacked by pirates after communication was lost a week ago.
Pantelena went missing on August 14th this year with 17 Georgian crewmembers on board.
She was transiting through the Gulf of Guinea when contact with the shore disappeared.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia has joined with the ship's Greek owner, Lotus, the Panama Ship Registry and other authorities in the search for the vessel.
Military forces such as the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) have also been brought in to aid the investigation.
It is reported that the vessel was carrying oil when it was last seen.
The vessel’s latest AIS data shows it was headed from Ownedo, Gibon to Libreville, Gabon.
According to the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB), all crew kidnappings recorded this year have taken place in the Gulf of Guinea.
Six separate incidents have been reported in 2018, but the true number of incidents in the Gulf is believed to be “significantly higher” than what is reported to the IMB PRC.
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