An unknown number of attackers boarded the Cameroonian-flagged general cargo ship M/V STEVIA 28nm SW Brass, kidnapping eight crew members.
At the time of the incident, the vessel was in transit from Port Harcourt, Nigeria, to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, according to data by maritime security intelligence firm Dryad Global.
This incident is the 27th kidnapping with a total number of 138 persons kidnapped in Gulf of Guinea HRA in 2020.
There have been a surge of incidents in the past 5 weeks, resulting in an increased risk rating for the Gulf of Guinea HRA to CRITICAL on 11th November. This is the 9th incident in the GoG HRA in December.
Last week, five crew members were kidnapped from the fishing vessel MV CAP SAINT GEORGES, 48nm west off Bayelsa. Also, four crew were kidnapped from the oil chemical tanker MV AGISILAOS, when it was boarded 75 nm off South Lome, in late November.
Vessels are advised to operate within this area at a heightened posture maintaining the highest levels of vigilance whilst implementing full hardening / mitigation in accordance with BMP West Africa where possible,
In addition the IMB advises that vessels remain at least 200nm-250nm offshore where possible.