The ship, enroute from Lagos to Cape Town, was stopped shortly after the boarding, went adrift, was still adrift at the time of last received AIS (automatic identification system) position 0615 UTC January 23, awaiting further updates, reports Kiev's Maritime Bulletin, which specialises in marine casualties.
The 39,339-dwt Liberian-flagged ship, built in 2007, came under attack by pirates while 100 nautical miles off Sao Tome, according to shipmanagers Boden Denizcilik of Istanbul.
According to maritime safety consultancy Dryad Global, the citadel onboard the vessel was breached and 15 crew, all Turkish national were taken hostage, with one Azerbaijani crewman killed. The remaining three members were left onboard.
The vessel is owned by Borealis Finance, registered in the Marshall Islands and is managed by Turkish company Boden Denizcilik.
Boden Denizcilik said after the attack all relevant authorities were notified and assistance has been requested.
Dryad Global says incidents throughout West Africa in 2020 showed an increase of 12 per cent on those of 2019.
Vessels are advised to operate within the area at a heightened posture maintaining the highest levels of vigilance.