The Singaporean-flagged container ship Maersk Cadiz was boarded by an unknown number of attackers while underway off West Africa, on Saturday afternoon, marking the latest in a series of attacks against ships in the region this year.
Reporting indicates that the ship was sailing from Tema, Ghana, to Kribi, Cameroon, when it was approached and boarded about 2:30 p.m. Nigeria time. The Nigerian authorities were alerted. The ship was reportedly carrying cargo when attacked.
The vessel and all 21 crew have all been confirmed as safe, a spokeswoman for the Danish shipping giant said.
According to data by maritime security intelligence firm Dryad Global, there have been a surge of incidents in the past five weeks, resulting in an increased risk rating for the Gulf of Guinea HRA to CRITICAL on 11th November.
In the latest incident, an unknown number of attackers boarded the Cameroonian-flagged general cargo ship M/V STEVIA 28nm SW Brass last week, kidnapping eight crew members.
Earlier in December, 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.
The latest available data by IMB revealed a 40% increase in the number of kidnappings reported in the Gulf of Guinea in the first nine months of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019, confirming the region as a consistent piracy hotspot. Of the 85 seafarers kidnapped from their vessels and held for ransom, 80 were taken in the Gulf of Guinea – in 14 attacks reported off Nigeria, Benin, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Ghana.
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,
…Dryad Global advised.
Leave a Reply