The UKMTO has received reports that a MV has been attacked on the 2nd of January at 21:50 UTC in position 15°13.0N 042°12.0E, approximately 23nm West of Ras Isa Marine Terminal. Investigations are ongoing.
Up to nine crew members on a containership in the Gulf of Guinea are thought to have been kidnapped, while another is being treated for a bullet wound in the leg.
The 21-year-old CMA CGM-chartered Tonsberg was attacked by pirates some 48 nautical miles south-west of Luba, at around 4pm UK time yesterday.
The 5,551 teu vessel was headed for Cotonou, Benin, after departing from Cameroon’s Port Autonome de Kribi on Sunday, according to VesselsValue data.
Doctors on the Danish frigate Esbern Snare are treating the wounded crewman onboard the vessel.
A helicopter from the Danish Navy vessel was the first to come to the aid of the Tonsberg crew and the pilots saw a speedboat heading north towards Nigeria as it arrived.
The abducted crew are said to be Polish, Ukrainian and Filipino and details of the event remain sketchy and subject to change.
Shipowner, Athens-based Technomar and CMA CGM have said a statement would be released later today.
According to the eeSea liner database, the vessel is deployed on CMA CGM’s Asia-West Africa WAX service, jointly operated with Maersk.
Source: The Loadstar
Reports indicate that a vessel has been boarded by an unknown number of attackers 86nm SW Agbami Terminal in position 02°13N 04°50E.
An incident is currently ongoing in position 24°59’N 057°28’E (Approx 61 NM off Fujairah).
A vessel has been attacked in position 21°16’N 059°45’E (Approx 152 NM from Al Duqm Port). Investigations are ongoing.
MNG Maritime warns that shipowners may see going unprotected as a lesser risk as Covid-19 mutation spreads
|UK shipowner MNG Maritime has warned that vessel operators may be reluctant to take armed guards on board as the Delta variant of Covid-19 spreads on floating armouries.|
Shipping sources have told TradeWinds that outbreaks are now spreading on the vessels that house anti-piracy security personnel in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Oman.
One source said: “An outbreak like this will influence the presence of armed guards on board merchant shipping in the Indian ocean region.”
UK company MNG has two ships in the region: the MNG Pembroke in the Gulf of Oman and MNG Captain James Cook in the Red Sea.
Mark Gray, MNG’s founder and co-director, told TradeWinds there were a “good handful of cases” on both armouries.
Eight cases previously
The company had only experienced eight positive cases since the pandemic began in spring 2020. But then the Delta variant hit.
“About a week ago, we had a guy we were about to embark on a ship who tested positive,” Gray said.
The guard had been on the platform for three weeks and could only have caught it on board, he added.
The company immediately tested the people he had shared a cabin with.
“And, funny old thing, everybody in the cabin was positive,” Gray said.
Isolation taking place
MNG is a UK-government approved Covid-19 test centre and is now testing everybody before they join the vessels, using its own PCR machines.
Infected personnel have been isolated and segregated.
“It is obviously affecting our operations. We have an isolated and segregated ship that we haven’t had before,” Gray added.
He said 98% of positive cases are asymptomatic and do not show up using thermal cameras fitted on board.
“We are operating okay. By this weekend, I will be able to say with some certainty we are only putting clean people on client ships,” the former UK Marine colonel said.
MNG’s clients are security companies who then place guards on commercial vessels.
These companies have to replace personnel if MNG informs them of a positive test.
“Those companies have got enough guards at the moment to substitute,” Gray said. “If I tell them four days before, they’ve got enough time to do something about it.”
But there is a potential problem if they don’t have an immediate substitute.
“I know the other platforms have got it [Covid-19] too. Our fear is that the clients’ ships will lose confidence in their ability to take clean guards from floating armouries and adjudge it a better risk to go unprotected, which I believe is a mistake,” Gray said.
Another armoury owner, Dubai’s Sinbad Navigation, told TradeWinds that it has no cases of coronavirus on its vessels.
“We have strict Covid-19 prevention protocols on board,” the company added.
* LSS-SAPU utilises Sinbad platforms only, which are covid free and operate as usual. Covid procedures are available upon request. The safety of our personnel will always be our No1 concern.
Master reports suspicious approach by a small craft with 10 POB in position 05°29N 0°44E approximately 60NM East of Accra, Ghana.
Vessel and crew are safe.
Reporting indicates that a fishing vessel was attacked at position 04°33N 002°23E approximately 104 nm South of Cotonou, Benin Republic.
The situation on the X-Press Pearl deteriorated dramatically today. The three-month old, 2,700 teu ship, carrying 25 tons of nitric acid, caught fire on Thursday off Colombo Port with Sri Lanka deploying aircraft and navy vessels to assist in firefighting.
This morning the vessel suffered an explosion, all crew have evacuated and at least eight containers, some feared to be containing acid, have tumbled into the sea, with authorities issuing swimming bans nearby.
With the vessel now in a dire state, an operation is underway to try and move it 50 nautical miles away from the shoreline. High winds in the area are also fanning the flames into a greater inferno.
Reporting indicates that a vessel being boarded in position 04°33′ 12” N 001°15′ 49” E. Boarders departed from the vessel at 20th of May at 01:45 UTC. Vessel and crew are reported to be safe.