Reporting by Dryad Global indicates that a Chinese fishing vessel has come under attack whilst operating offshore Equatorial Guinea Mbini Area.
he attack is reported to have taken place within territorial waters, while it is understood that the vessel was approached by a speedboat, reportedly with black hull containing an unknown number of perpetrators.
The perpetrators are also believed to have been armed and one crew member is understood to have been killed in the attack.
Furthermore, the reporting indicates that 6 personnel have been kidnapped from the vessel, including the captain.
The crew members are understood to be Ghanaian and Malian nationals.
This is the 11th kidnapping incident within West Africa in 2021 and brings the total number of crews kidnapped in offshore incidents to 82.
It is also the third attack offshore Equatorial Guinea in December 21. Before the recent attacks, waters off Equatorial Guinea have historically witnessed significantly less reporting than those of neighbouring waters.
Pirates have historically shown a capacity to avoid the maritime security footprint within the Gulf of Guinea and are likely to seek to continue to exploit weaknesses where these are found. Pirates have also shown an intent to reinforce success in areas where operations have been successful and as such the risk to vessels operating within both Equatorial Guinean waters and those offshore is increased
said Dryad Global.
This incident comes after a Danish naval patrol killed four pirates in an exchange of fire in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Nigeria, during November.
The incident occurred when the frigate Esbern Snare, which has been patrolling the area since early November, attempted to board the pirate boat.
“No Danish soldiers were injured, but five pirates were shot,” the military said. “Four of the pirates died. One was injured,” it added.
The Danish forces fired warning shots, and the pirates immediately fired back.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told a news conference that the soldiers’ intervention had “probably prevented concrete pirate attacks against vessels in the region.”