In light of the recent increase of pirate activity in the Gulf of Guinea and in the waters under Gabonese jurisdiction, the Gabonese Authorities decided to raise the ISPS Security Level for Gabonese waters and ports from MARSEC Level 1 to MARSEC Level 2, until further notice.
This is according to Britannia P&I Club, citing information by local correspondents TCI AFRICA (Gabon).
Piracy attacks are on-going in the waters off Gabon. All vessels are requested to keep close VHF watch as the Gabonese Navy might call them and give instructions as they are approaching Gabonese waters.
According to the French Naval Authorities, the latest modus operandi is that the previously attacked fishing vessel “Lian Peng Yu 809” is being used by armed individuals as a “mother vessel” from where smaller boats are launched to approach larger vessels.
Τhe Gabon flagged fishing vessel, with 14 crew onboard, has been reportedly hijacked off Port Gentil, on February 7. The crew of the LIANPENGYU 809 are understood to be Chinese, Indonesian and Gabonese nationals. Dryad Global estimates that the perpetrators will abandon the LIANPENGYU 809 offshore and kidnap some or all of the associated crew.
IMB’s latest yearly piracy report recorded the highest ever number of crew kidnappings for the Gulf of Guinea in 2020, with 130 crew members taken in 22 separate incidents. 96.3% of kidnaps were in the region. Data by Dryad Global suggests there have been a total of 12 offshore incidents in the region this year and six successful boardings.