Pirates have released UK-based Union Maritime’s vessel MT Barrett and its 22 personnel following an attack that saw the company lose track of the ship and the crew for six days.

The attack took place in Gulf of Guinea.

Union Maritime said in a statement: “We are focused now on supporting the crew and their families.

“The crew are safely back in Lagos, Nigeria, and were met by senior representatives from Union Maritime and the technical managers.”

"The crew are safely back in Lagos, Nigeria, and were met by senior representatives from Union Maritime and the technical managers."

The 11,999dwt vessel was anchored off Benin, West Africa, before losing contact with ground staff on Wednesday 10 January.

After losing communications with MT Barrett, Union Maritime activated its emergency response plan and alerted regional maritime authorities and other vessels travelling in the nearby area.

Union Maritime further noted: “The exact nature of the incident only became clear late on 12th January when those holding the vessel made contact with the company.

“A resolution process began, which ultimately led to the release of the vessel and all crew on-board on 16 January.”

Authorities from Benin, Togo, Nigeria and India were involved in the rescue of MT Barrett.

The vessel was built in 2005 and is registered with the Marshall Islands.