Mississippian Kidnapped by Pirates Off Nigeria

By: David Kenney, WLBT-TV
By: David Kenney, WLBT-TV

WTOK's statewide network partner, WLOX-TV, reported that a Mississippi oil worker was kidnapped off an oil rig on the Nigerian coast.

Network partner, WLBT-TV, traveled to Silver Creek, Miss., in Lawrence County, the home of oil worker James Robertson.

With a population of less than 250 people, news of the kidnapping spread fast.

"I think somebody ought to take care of them, honestly," said resident Larry Smith.

"I never would have thought there would be pirates in 2010," said family friend, Kacey Slocum.

Robertson was on board an oil platform when it was stormed by armed men, who took him and four others captive.

Two other oil workers who were shot were airlifted to a nearby clinic.
Those who know Robertson say they're stunned.

"I know his daughters. They're my age, real nice," said Slocum. "I think he's got seven grandkids. Just a real nice guy. Every time you see him, he speaks to you and says hello, and we just hope he comes home safe and just pray for him."

"I think he's a great person and he's over there doing his job and should be respected than what they're doing to him," Smith said.

Robertson works for the London-based company, Afren PLC. His oil rig is managed by Transocean, the same company that operated the rig tied to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, and the company says it's seeking a quick resolution.

"they need to just let him go," Slocum said. "My husband, he works offshore in Brazil and every time he leaves, we're scared to death. I hope they bring him home safe."

At the Robertson's home, family members told this reporter they were told not to talk to the media, by Transocean, and the FBI.

According to the International Maritime Bureau, there were more than 153 vessels that were boarded worldwide in 2009. Forty-nine of those vessels were hijacked and 120 vessels were fired upon. A total of 1052 crew were taken hostage, with 68 injured and 8 killed. The level of violence and injuries has increased throughout the years.

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  • by patrick jeffery ginn Location: coldwater ms on Nov 9, 2010 at 01:09 PM
    this is my uncle the is evry thing to me and i hope we get him back becouse he has a mom that loves him so much and i miss him my step mom is his sister
  • by Tommy Location: Philadelphia on Nov 9, 2010 at 12:04 PM
    Anonymous: If you would have watched the news clip at 10 last night (11/08/10) you would know what I was talking about. FYI I know what pirates are.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 9, 2010 at 10:42 AM
    I don't really think people being kidnapped when they're trying to make a living is funny. According to the online dictionary, piracy is a war-like act committed by private parties (not affiliated with any government) that engage in acts of robbery and/or criminal violence at sea. Sounds like "pirates" to me.
  • by Tommy Location: Philadelphia on Nov 9, 2010 at 09:33 AM
    I want to see the news clip again. I got a good laugh. I am still laughing about the "pirates" in 2010.
  • by Stacey Location: Bailey on Nov 9, 2010 at 06:49 AM
    I hope they find this man and my prayers go out to him and his family!
  • by j.r. Location: al on Nov 9, 2010 at 04:18 AM
    I think it,s time someone shot back. Come on U.S.A. GET OFF YOUR FAT ___ AND HELP OUR MEN @ women.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 9, 2010 at 03:09 AM
    simple cut the UN out in handling things send in the troops kick their ______ get this done once and for all..
  • by Worried Location: Faraway on Nov 8, 2010 at 10:44 PM
    My prayers go out to this man and his family,I to work in west Africa and had no problems yet but, we travel as a crew and watch each others back at all times.I'll pray for him.
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