The Greek ship company Grace Management S.A. says it has lost contact with one of its tankers off the coast of western Africa, a location known to be a favorite of pirates.
The Bahamas-flagged Orpheas was carrying 32,000 metric tons (35,000 tons) of gasoline to Abidjan in the Ivory Coast. Although the company is Greek, only two Greeks were are onboard, but are accompanied by 22 Filipinos.
Contact with the vessel was lost on Saturday, when after anchoring off Abidjan, it sailed south without orders or explanation, and may be heading for Lagos, Nigeria.
Pirate attacks have been on the rise lately, but it is no longer as expected that there will be a ransom involved. The vessel and crew are usually released once the cargo is stolen, and the pirates go on their way.