URGENT ¥¥¥ Pirates kidnap three sailors off west Africa: shipping firm

Pirates have attacked a British-flagged cargo ship off west Africa and kidnapped three members of the crew in the latest such incident to hit the region, a statement said on Friday.

"Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd. regrets to report that their 2008-built, UK-flagged ... general cargo ship MV Esther C was boarded by pirates on the evening of February 7 whilst in international waters south in the Gulf of Guinea," a statement issued by MTI Network on behalf of the operators said. "Having stolen personal possessions, the pirates departed the vessel taking three crew members as hostage."