A vessel was recently attacked off the coast of Nigeria, and the captain and chief engineer -- believed to be U.S. citizens -- were taken off the craft, a U.S. official confirmed Thursday.
The attack on the vessel -- named the C-Retriever, according to the official and UK-based security firm AKE -- happened Wednesday in the Atlantic Ocean's Gulf of Guinea, off the Nigerian coast in West Africa, AKE reported.
The ship is an oil platform support vessel owned by Edison Chouest Offshore, which is based in Louisiana.
Further details about the attack weren't immediately available.
The oil-rich Gulf of Guinea produces some 5.4 million barrels of oil a day and has been the site of increasing concern over piracy, according to London-based think tank Chatham House.
Piracy in the gulf accounted for 30% of the 1,434 reported piracy attacks in African waters between 2003 and 2011 and the pace of attacks has risen since then, Chatham House reported in March.
That's in part due, the think tank said, to aggressive anti-piracy efforts by Western navies off the coast of Somalia, on the east side of the continent.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Click on the region names in the map below to see news from that region.
Things To Do
INSIDE: Check out our top pick for weekend events around Arizona!
RIGHT NOW: Top Stories
Authorities are searching a Tempe middle school after there was a report of a student with a gun, Tempe police said.
Check out this plush Scottsdale property sold recently for $6.1 million!
Officials are investigating after a body was found in a dumpster Friday morning in Mesa.
The White House says President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will travel to South Africa next week to pay respects to Nelson Mandela.
City officials recommend that people traveling to Tempe arrival early and use park-and-ride lots and take light rail.
Take a journey through the years to see the incredible life of former South African president Nelson Mandela, who led the struggle against apartheid in his homeland.