Pirates boarded the Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier MV ROWAYTON EAGLE, while 200nm off the coast of Accra, Ghana, in the Gulf of Guinea, reports by maritime security intelligence firm Dryad Global suggest.
When the perpetrators boarded the ship, the crew mustered in the citadel. A Ghanaian naval vessel sought to inspect the vessel, but was unable to reach due to technical problems.
The vessel was subsequently supported by a Nigerian Security Escort Vessel and escorted into Nigerian waters. Pirates are understood to have left the vessel having failed to breach the citadel.
This the 7th offshore incident this year and the third recorded offshore boarding. Total incidents throughout West Africa in 2020 showed a partial increase of 12% on those of 2019. Incidents involving failed approaches showed a significant increase within 2020 with 25 such incidents recorded against 10 in 2019.
In addition, 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 reported in GoG and all three vessel hijackings and nine of the eleven vessels fired upon reported were related to the region.
On the bright side, latest reports reveal Nigerian pirates released all 8 crew from the Cameroonian-flagged general cargo ship M/V STEVIA, who were kidnapped on 16 December 2020. Last week, operator Boden Shipping also announced that the 15 crewmembers who were kidnapped from the containership Mozart in late January are good in their health.
Dryad advises all vessels to avoid the vicinity of the reported incidents, reporting all suspicious activity to the relevant maritime authorities.
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