GULF OF GUINEA, ARMED PIRATES SEIZE CREW MEMBERS

26/02/2019 LC Posn 2.064 – 4.733

Three seafarers have been kidnapped from a multi-purpose cargo-carrying landing craft underway in the Gulf of Guinea.

The 1,710 deadweight tonne (dwt) LAETITIA V was over 100 nautical miles (nm) off Nigeria’s Niger Delta when it was boarded by five armed pirates.

According to details posted by the International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre the pirates seized three crew members and then made their escape.

The attack took place before dawn on February 3.

The Nigerian Navy was alerted and a vessel was sent to escort the LAETITIA V to a safe anchorage.

Ships in the Gulf of Guinea are vulnerable to pirate attack, especially in waters off the Niger Delta.

In early January six seafarers were kidnapped from a container ship 55 nautical miles (nm) off Cotonou, Benin.

Four months earlier, in September 2018, pirates seized 12 seafarers from a bulk carrier underway 45 nautical miles (nm) southwest of Bonny Island.

In the wider region two vessels west of Pointe Noir in the Republic of the Congo were attacked by pirates at the end of October and crew were seized.

Meanwhile there have been at least four reports of unsuccessful attacks by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea in the first two months of 2019.

Vessels underway in the Gulf of Guinea should be vigilant. The greatest risk of attack is at night.

They should avoid slow steaming and carefully monitor the approach of unknown skiffs.

Source: Gray Page

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