Amid the continuing security threat for ships in the Gulf of Guinea, the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) Maritime Security Committee have produced a set of quick reference bridge cards for use onboard vessels transiting this area.
These bridge cards are intended to compliment existing industry guidance, including Best Management Practice West Africa (BMP West Africa). The guidance was issued in early 2020 to help ships plan their voyage and detect, avoid, delay and report attacks, thus mitigating the risk from piracy and armed robbery.
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. An estimated 96.3% of kidnaps were reported in GoG and all three vessel hijackings and nine of the eleven vessels fired upon reported were related to the region.
A worrying trend of attacks is continuing also in 2021, with the Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier MV ROWAYTON EAGLE and the Marshall Islands-flagged oil chemical tanker MV SEA PHANTOM being the latest subjects of attacks in the region.