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GULF OF GUINEA: Seafarer missing after pirate attack

Fecha de la noticias: 04/09/2019 • Publicada: 04/09/2019 

03/09/2019 LC Posn 3.34 - 6.40

Background

A seafarer has been reported missing after an attack by pirates on an LPG tanker underway in the Gulf of Guinea.

The tanker was boarded some 50 nautical miles (nm) off the Nigerian port of Brass.

The attack took place before dawn on August 17.

The International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre published details of the incident in early September.

It said the tanker’s crew, after an alarm had been sounded, mustered in the ship’s citadel.

A headcount, however, revealed that one of the crew was missing.

The Nigerian Navy dispatched a patrol boat and searched the LPG tanker for intruders.

No pirates were found remaining on-board and the vessel was judged safe for the crew to leave the citadel.

Assessment and Analysis

The waters of the Gulf of Guinea remain the world’s most dangerous for piracy.

At least seven attacks since the start of the year have involved the kidnap of seafarers.

Pirates have seized crew from vessels riding at anchor and from vessels underway, sometimes as far as 180 nautical miles (nm) from the coast.

Attacks generally take place at night.  Vessels targeted have included oil tankers, product tankers, bulk carriers, container ships, fishing boats and offshore support vessels.

Many of the attacks have taken place off the Niger Delta, in the sea area south of the port and oil terminals of Brass.

Crews should exercise extreme caution throughout the Gulf Of Guinea.

They should avoid slow steaming and watch for the approach of small vessels, especially at night.

Evasive action and the use of citadels have proved effective in frustrating pirate assaults.

All vessels trading off Nigeria and in the wider Gulf of Guinea should adopt robust vessel hardening measures.

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