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The ship Water Phoenix of Groningen shipping company Seatrade was attacked by pirates off the coast of Nigeria on Tuesday. Two crew members were taken hostage The other 16 crew members were unharmed, the shipping company confirmed to RTV Noord.

The ship was escorted to the port of Lagos by the Nigerian navy after the attack, Seatrade spokesperson Cor Radings said to the broadcaster. A special team from the shipping company is currently trying to make contact with the kidnaped crew members, in an effort to expedite their safe return.

“This is an extremely worrying situation, also for the family of the crew members,” Radings said. “We want to initiate a dialogue with the hijackers as soon as possible to get our men back home.” Seatrade is in close contact with the authorities in Nigeria.

The company would disclose no further information, in order not to endanger the safety of its two abducted crew members.

The Water Phoenix sails under the Liberian flag. It was en route from IJmuiden to Lagos when it was attacked.

In 2018, another Seatrade ship was attacked off the coast of Nigeria. Then four crew members were abducted and held hostage for two and a half weeks.