• 57°

Community prays, waits for kidnapee

Sometimes there’s nothing man can do to help.

Lawrence County Sheriff Joel Thames and Chief Deputy Willie Wallaceon Tuesday drove out to 1300 N. A. Sandifer Highway in Silver Creekto console the family of James Robertson, an offshore worker whowas kidnapped from his rig off the coast of Nigeria on Monday. Noone came to answer the lawmen’s call as they stood in front of asilently gated home.

“All we can do is to offer our help if needed,” Wallace said.

Sometimes, help has to come from God.

“In my church we have a prayer chain, and it was startedimmediately,” said Steve Garrett, president of the Lawrence CountyBoard of Supervisors. “We’re praying vigilantly for the situation.It’s a dangerous world we live in.”

Robertson was kidnapped Monday during a nighttime raid on his rig,which operates for London-based Afren PLC about 7 miles off thesouthern coast of Nigeria. The attack netted seven captives ofdifferent nationalities. Responsibility for the raid was claimed bythe Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), amilitant group that has been targeting the oil industry since2006.

Robertson’s family has reportedly been advised not to talk aboutthe kidnapping, and little is known about his condition. Themilitants have released a statement saying all the captives aresafe.

“They’ve asked me not to talk to anybody about it,” said SilverCreek’s Ronnie Fortenberry, a friend of the Robertson family.”Everyone is asking about him. James is a good friend to everybody,a good guy.”