National News

Oct 25, 2013 11:01 PM by Erin Steuber

ABC Reports Hostages in Nigeria from Southern U.S.

ABC News is reporting that both men, held captive in Nigeria by pirates, are from the southern United States. But officials are asking us not to release their names because of the sensitivity of the case.

The two Americans, the ship's captain and chief engineer, were kidnapped by pirates Thursday morning while working on a Louisiana owned vessel. It's last known location in the Gulf of Guinea, but far north of it's destination.

A new GPS tracking of the ship, on a meritime website, on its final days, shows it veered far away from its normal route to offshore oil rigs.

"They likely rendezvoused with another pirate vessel to steal the fuel and whatever else was on board," said Rob Almeida, author of gCaptain.com.

Military officials say the crew was sorted by nationality and only the two Americans, the ship's captain and chief engineer, were taken captive.

"We're working closely with our counterparts, and the other parts of the American government, and with the Nigerians, to bring that to a conclusion,"said FBI Director James Comey. "That's all I can say at this time."

At the same time, the Nigerian Navy says it's launched a search and rescue operation in the Mangrove Swamps, where known pirates and militant groups have their camps. But U.S. officials are worried that the Nigerian military rescue efforts could endanger the Americans.

"If it's on land, it's very problematic. Lets be frank, this is going to be a negotiation process. It's not going to be a rescue attempt," said former FBI Special Agent, Jack Cloonan.

According to the Associated Press, rebels in Nigeria say they've been in touch with the kidnappers, and can help ensure their safety.

The ship is owned by Edison Chouest Offshore, which is based in Galliano. The company has yet to release a statement.

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