US, Nigerian navies: Ship rescue success for cooperation

Lagos: A US commodore says the rescue of a hijacked oil tanker tracked through five countries by several navies, including from the US, is the first big success in international maritime cooperation in the pirate-ridden waters of the Gulf of Guinea.

Capt Heidi Agle, the commodore, was directing a training exercise against piracy when the hijacking provided a real-life lesson.

Pirates seized the Dubai-owned MT Maximus on February 11 and sailed it nearly 800 miles before Nigeria’s navy stormed the ship on February 20.

Along the way it was tracked by the navies of the United States, Ghana and Togo.

Agle called it “a coordinated effort and the biggest piece of progress in the region” since the United States began training Gulf of Guinea nations in 2009.