Piracy Incident Report: Gulf of Guinea
Piracy Incident Report: 442
Incident Type:Suspicious Approach
Area: From Lome (Togo) to Luba (Equatorial Guinea)
Position: Not Known
Date of Incident: 28.05.2015
Time of Incident: 2050
Information Source: MTISC-GOG
A vessel transiting from Lome/Togo to Luba/Equatorial Guinea detected on radar a boat without AIS identification and navigation light approaching. After altering course several times, the boat was still relatively on track with the vessel. Search lights were switched on and directed towards the suspicious boat while crew duly mustered. When the distance between the suspicious boat and the vessel was about 4 cables, the vessel started sounding blasts on the ships typhoon; immediately the suspicious vessel changed course and started moving to the opposite direction.
The number of reported piracy incidents across West Arica has risen again this month with more ferocity being shown and an increased number of kidnappings taking place, however with an estimated 65% of incidents going unreported in this region, the true number of incidents are likely to be considerably higher. It is important for all maritime operators within this region to familiarise themselves with the threats pertinent to the specific areas they transit as attacks on vessels can vary significantly in their form depending upon where they occur. Chemical and petroleum product tankers at anchor, drifting or conducting ship-to-ship (STS) operations are particularly vulnerable because of the high demand and ease of selling the cargo. It is essential that companies have a well-trained and knowledge crew and all vessels operating within this region need to have stringent security procedures in place and remain extra vigilant. Please contact Allmode for more information on training and security services firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.allmode.org
Piracy Incident Report: 422
Area: Conakry Anchorage, Guinea.
Position: As above
Date of Incident: 15/05/15
Time of Incident: 0345
Information Source: IMB
Six robbers armed with AK47 rifles, boarded an anchored Bulk Carrier. The 2nd officer saw two robbers on the poop deck and immediately raised the alarm and informed the Master. The robbers aimed the AK47 towards the 2nd officer and the duty AB, who immediately retreated into the citadel. The robbers broke into the Masters cabin, fired a few rounds towards the deck- head and demanded money from the Master. Before escaping, the robbers stole the crew’s property and the ship’s cash. The Port control was informed.
This aggression shown by West African pirates is common and the weapon of choice is the AK- 47 rifle. The gangs will use these against anyone who approaches them, including the naval forces that patrol the waters off Guinea. They are also aware of the layout of the ship’s they board and the location of the large amounts of cash that some vessels carry. It may be worth the crew storing their valuables in a less obvious location, to help prevent robberies.
Piracy Incident Report: 400
Incident Type:Suspicious Approach
Area: Around 5nm South of Conakry, Guinea
Position: 09°25’N - 013°43’W
Date of Incident: 24/04/2015 REPORTED LATE
Time of Incident: 0125
Information Source: IMB
The Duty AB on-board an anchored Bulk Carrier, spotted a small wooden boat with eight people on-board attempting to board the vesselThe alarm was raised and the crew mustered. Seeing the crew respond, the robbers aborted the boarding and moved away.
Allmode Comment: This is the second attempted boarding at this particular location and is a reminder to Masters for the need to have stringent security measures to be in place when visiting West Africa. Round the clock deck watch is essential to prevent a boarding and well trained crew who can respond immediately will help to deter pirates from boarding. Allmode recommend harding the vessel to help mitigate the risk of boarding’s
Piracy Incident Report 322
On the 17th January, the Ghana Navy have reported the arrest of eight pirates, who they say are Nigerian, after a Crude Oil Tanker, the MT Mariam drifted into their territorial waters. The navy’s patrol vessel GNS Blika was dispatched to the scene where the arrests then took place. After speaking to the vessels Captain, it transpires that the vessel was hijacked in the early morning of the 11th January, from Warri, Nigeria. The vessel was carrying 1,500 metric tonnes of crude oil, which it was taking to Togo. The pirates had been armed with AK-47 rifles and siphoned off the cargo whilst they drifted.
The vessel and crew are now safe and a search for the stolen cargo is underway between the military forces from Togo, Benin and Nigeria.
Allmode Comment: Crude oil continues to be targeted in the Gulf of Guinea and all vessels will need to continue to assess their own security arrangements as the use of PMC’s are not permitted to combate this real threat. A continuous review of security measures should be carried out and all precautions taken.
Piracy Incident Report 319
Eight heavily armed pirates boarded a drifting Bulk Carrier, whilst they were 157nm off the Ghanaian coast. They opened fire to intimidate the crew. The pirates destroyed the communication equipment and manhandled some crew members, before stealing crew and ship property. Before leaving the ship on 15th Jan at 0215 UTC, the crew were warned not to sail until sunrise.
Allmode Comment: This incident is some distance from the coast and it would seem possible that a mothership was used to launch the attack. The aggressiveness of the pirates is typical of Nigerian pirates, who will stop at nothing to carry out their mission. As stated recently, media sources expect piracy incidents off the Nigerian coast to escalate in the run up to the Nigerian Presidential elections in February. This puts all vessels in the region at an enhanced risk of attack.