Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Pirates attack British cargo ship in Gulf of Guinea

Esther C cargo ship
Image caption The cargo ship was carrying wood to Ghana, the company said

Three crewman have been taken hostage after pirates attacked a British ship off the west coast of Africa.

A Romanian and two Russians were taken when raiders boarded the Esther C cargo ship in the Gulf of Guinea.

The pirates stole personal possessions from the crew before departing with their hostages last Thursday evening.

The Isle of Wight-based Carisbrooke Shipping, which owns the vessel, said it was taking "all possible steps" to secure their release.

The nine remaining Filipino crew are reported to be safe.

Families informed

The cargo ship, which is carrying wood, is continuing its voyage the company said.

Another ship from the firm has been sent to the region to offer assistance.

Families of all crew members have been contacted and are being kept informed of the situation.

Russia's foreign ministry confirmed two of its citizens were among the hostages taken between the Cameroonian port of Douala and the port of Malabo in Equatorial Guinea.

Last week, a French-owned ship seized by pirates off Ivory Coast was freed.

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