German-owned container ship boarded by pirates off Guinea

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — (AP) — A container ship that is owned and operated by a German shipping group has been attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea.

A spokesman for the Peter Doehle Schiffart and Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement company that is operating Maersk Tema told Denmark's Ekstra Bladet tabloid that two small vessels approached the container ship Friday in the Gulf of Guinea.

“The staff on the ship saw that the vessels were approaching and followed the emergency procedures,” said Dustin Eno. “We have immediately reported the incident to the local authorities.”

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The Maersk Group in Copenhagen, Denmark, said that despite the name, it was not one of their ships.

“We, of course, do our utmost to support in this terrible situation, the Danish shipping company said in a statement to The Associated Press.

The International Maritime Bureau says that the Gulf of Guinea is the most dangerous for ship crews after piracy there jumped by more than 50% last year.