While at anchor, the duty AB during routine rounds noticed a rope attached to the portside anchor chain leading to a boat positioned along the starboard side of the ship. The duty AB sighted six to seven persons on board this boat, and immediately alerted the bridge.
While rushing towards the accommodation, the duty AB saw a perpetrator on the deck of the starboard side. The perpetrator assured the duty AB that he would leave the ship. The duty AB quickly went inside a secured area and locked the doors. The master raised the alarm, activated SSAS and sent piracy distress message.
The general alarm and whistle continued to sound until the Nigerian Navy patrol boats arrived. Two patrol boats arrived, conducted a search, investigated and requested the ship to resume to normal duties. The suspicious boat was last seen fleeing towards the westerly direction.
Another attempted incident was reported on 3 July in Nigerian waters, involving a tug sailing around 220nm southwest of Bayelsa.
The duty officer onboard the tug noticed a fishing boat lowering a long skiff into the water. The skiff with four to five persons onboard started approaching the tug and closed to a distance of 0.5nm. Master raised the alarm, increased speed and headed into the swell.
Several attempts were made by the skiff to get closer to the tug, but failed due to the rough weather. After following the tug for over five hours, the skiff moved away.
In 2017, piracy incidents in Gulf of Guinea decreased to 48 against 62 in 2016, according to the IMO GISIS database. However attacks have followed an upward trend in 2018 so far, with 37 incidents reported only during the first four months of the year, which attracted special reference at IMO's MSC 99 in June.
The ReCAAP ISC urges ship master and crew to report all incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships to the nearest coastal State and flag State, exercise vigilance and adopt relevant preventive measures taking reference from the Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia.