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City skipper on hijacked vessel

A chemical tanker hijacked off the central African coast is being skippered by Alipore resident Shishir Wahi.

Six others on MT Cotton are also from Bengal.

The captain’s family last heard from him on Sunday evening — when he had sent an email — and has been unable to contact him since.

“He wrote to us saying there seemed to have been a technical fault that should be resolved overnight,” said daughter Richa, a freelance educationist associated with the British Council and The Heritage School.

Earlier on Sunday, Wahi had called his family.

Wahi, 64, had left Calcutta on July 5 and boarded the ship owned by a Turkish firm on July 11 at Port Gentil in Gabon, in central Africa.

The Indian company that has hired Wahi for MT Cotton called his wife and said pirates had hijacked the ship near Gabon.

“The company first called my mother at 10.30am and said they were unable to contact the vessel. Two hours later they said pirates had hijacked the ship and the crew was unprepared for the attack,” said Richa.

Wahi’s son is in London and in touch with the Turkish company.