Armed persons in a speedboat have reportedly tried to board a product tanker at anchor in Lagos.

The International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre says the attempt was made before dawn on October 17.

The tanker was in the Lagos Secure Anchorage when a crew member saw a speedboat close to the anchor chain.

Around five people armed with guns were using hooks in an attempt to board.

The crew member raised the alarm and shouted at the would-be intruders. The tanker’s fire pump was activated and the attempted boarding was quickly broken off.

Reports were made to the local authorities and a patrol boat was sent to see if it could assist.

A search of the tanker found no evidence that anything had been stolen.

This was the second report of intruders operating in the Lagos Secure Anchorage in less than a week.

Three days before two intruders were spotted by a watchman on-board another product tanker. The intruders fled once they knew an alarm had been raised.

Both incidents took place during darkness.

The International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre has now recorded at least 16 cases of intruders boarding or trying to board ships in Lagos ports and anchorages since the start of the year.

Many other cases of illegal boarding are believed to go unreported.

Vessels visiting Lagos should take extra precautions.

Crew members should maintain a good visual and radar watch for the approach of small craft.

If possible, ships at anchor or at berth should illuminate their sides. Ladders and ropes should be secured and stowed away.

Watching keepers should be especially vigilant at night.

Source: Gray Page