03.11.2019 – The J.J. Ugland Companies, bulk vessel MV Bonita was boarded by pirates very early Saturday morning (1st November 2019) off Cotonou/Benin while she was at anchor. Nine crew members were kidnapped from the vessel while she was waiting to berth to discharge her inbound cargo of gypsum.
UPDATE – MV BONITA – We can confirm that the captain of MV Bonita is one of the nine crewmembers taken off the vessel. Apart from this, we do not have any new information about the incident.
UPDATE – MV BONITA 04.11.2019 16.39 – The ongoing incident is a severe situation for Ugland, especially our seafarers. We are doing everything we can to bring the nine crewmembers taken off the ship back to safety. Øystein Beisland, the President of Ugland, underscores that this is our highest priority.
We have been and are in continuous contact with the remaining crew on board. The condition of the crew is considered good, taking into account what they have been through. Health care and follow-up are offered as needed. The entire crew is Filipino.
Ugland has continuous assessments of the security situation in areas where our vessels operate. In light of the ongoing incident, we are reconsidering whether our ships should sail in this area.
UPDATE – MV BONITA – 05.11.2019 14.07 – Our effort to bring our nine crew members to safety is our main priority. We are working relentlessly on this issue.
To care for the remaining crew on board, a trauma specialist and a priest will be available onboard soon. The trauma specialist has vast experience of working in similar incidents.
Ugland will accommodate any requests from crew members who choose to repatriate. Plans for substitute crew are in process.