Greek bulker comes under attack by pirates off Nigeria

Niovis Shipping ultramax reported to be taking evasive action after gunmen approach in speedboat.

A Greek bulker has been forced to take evasive action after coming under attack from gunmen off Nigeria.

Piracy reporting bodies said the 60,000-dwt Scarabe (built 2015) was approached by seven pirates on a speedboat 20 nautical miles (37 km) south of Agbami on Wednesday morning.

A security consultancy said that the ultramax was outbound in ballast from Calabar in Nigeria at 11.1 knots, heading westbound.

“The vessel conducted evasive manoeuvres and had subsequently increased speed to 13.4 knots by her last AIS transmission,” the security consultancy added.

It has not been suggested that any crew have been seized.

Niovis Shipping has been contacted for further information.

“This latest incident has occurred in an area of significant reporting density,” said Analyst of another security consultancy.

Attack trend is upwards

“Throughout 2019 there were five incidents recorded within 60 nautical miles of the Agbami Field Terminal, compared with zero in 2018.”

The attack demonstrates a resurgence in pirate group activity in West Africa over the last few days.

On Saturday, three people were kidnapped from the 1,000-gt Equatorial Guinean-flagged ro-ro Elobey VI (built 1975) off Gabon.

The Equatorial Guinean ministry of defence said the pirates abandoned the vessel within 2.1 nautical miles of the Okwori terminal exclusion zone.

A day later seven Ukrainian crew were kidnapped from the 957-teu boxship MSC Talia F (built 2015), 70 miles to the north.

Source: TradeWinds