Pirate mothership spotted off Nigeria near d’Amico tanker

Suspicious activity reported 194 km south-west of Agbami oil terminal in piracy hot spot.

A possible pirate mothership has been spotted 194km off the coast of Nigeria following a series of kidnappings in recent weeks.

The piracy reporting body Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade – Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GoG) said “suspicious activity” was reported south-west of the Agbami oil terminal on Thursday morning.

The report said a “suspicious mother vessel” towing a speed boat was spotted.

It is not clear whether the ship made the report.

The panamax vessel is outbound from Lome, Togo, at 14.2 knots.

Speed and track not known

It is displaying its destination as the FSPO Aseng off Equatorial Guinea.

The Italian shipowner has been contacted for further information.

Four serious kidnappings have taken place involving three tankers and a bulker in the Gulf of Guinea since the start of November.

Analysts believe the distances of the attacks from shore of more than 100 km in some cases mean the pirate group is using a mothership.

A total of 39 crew remain as hostages from the 297,000-dwt Navios Maritime Acquisition VLCC Nave Constellation (built 2010) and the 19,100-dwt Union Maritime chemical tanker Duke (built 2003).

Source: TradeWinds