Four crew members, who had been kidnapped from the Marshall islands-flagged product tanker MV Agisilaos in late November, were released on 6 January, the owner company Diamond S Shipping Inc. informed.
The incident occurred in Ghanaian waters, 5 nm from the Western edge of the Gulf of Guinea HRA, on 29 November 2020. The ship was underway when an unknown number of persons boarded it 75 nm off South Lome, who kidnapped four of the 23 crew members onboard.
All four crew members are now safe.
Diamond S would like to thank all those involved in securing their release. Due to the sensitive nature of the incident, Diamond S will provide no further updates on this matter,
…the company stated.
This was the 24th confirmed kidnapping incident in the waters of the Gulf of Guinea within 2020, with at least 138 crew kidnapped from vessels so far.
In the latest know incident, an unknown number of attackers boarded the Cameroonian-flagged general cargo ship M/V STEVIA 28nm SW Brass in mid-December, kidnapping eight crew members. Earlier, five crew members were kidnapped from the fishing vessel MV CAP SAINT GEORGES, 48nm west off Bayelsa.
There have been a surge of incidents in the past 5 weeks, resulting in an increased risk rating for the Gulf of Guinea HRA to CRITICAL on 11th November, maritime security intelligence firm Dryad Global has advised.