Pirates release tanker, sailors seized off Nigeria

By the Associated Press | October 14, 2011 | 5:40 AM EDT

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — A management company says pirates have released an oil tanker seized off the coast of Nigeria, freeing the 20-member crew unharmed.

A spokeswoman for Columbia Ship Management of Hamburg, Germany told The Associated Press on Friday that the pirates released the crew late Thursday night from where they were being held about 90 nautical miles off the coast of Lagos.

The spokeswoman said she could not give any information on whether a ransom had been paid or if any of the ship's cargo of oil had been taken. She spoke on condition of anonymity per company policy.

The hijacking is the latest to target West Africa's Gulf of Guinea, which follows the continent's southward curve from Liberia to Gabon.