Pirates kidnap seven offshore vessel crew members off E. Guinea
Swire Pacific Offshore, an offshore vessel operator, confirmed that seven crew members aboard its Pacific Warden, an Anchor Handling Tug Supply Vessel (AHTS), were kidnapped by pirates offshore Equatorial Guinea last week.
Specifically, according to the company, the attack took place on the Pacific Warden offshore Equatorial Guinea, November 20, at about 0500 local time. At the time, the vessel was assisting with offshore field operations.
Additionally, there were 15 members onboard, from which seven were taken by the attackers and remain missing, whereas the remaining eight are ashore and unharmed.
“The safety of the people on board our vessel is always our top priority. SPO will do everything possible to secure the safe and timely return of the missing crew members, in coordination with their families and relevant authorities.”
For the time being, the company hasn’t issued an additional, updated statement.
Overall, piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has shown an increased level in the past years; Steve Regis, COO, ARX Maritime has stated that the shipping industry should focus more on finding long-term solutions on dealing with piracy on the area and ensure maritime security. In the meantime, a report launched in early 2019 highlighted that Nigeria lost approximately $2.8 billion during 2018, as a result of crude oil and maritime crimes.