According to data provided by maritime security intelligence firm Dryad Global, a small craft came to within 0.3nm, then reduced speed and withdrew, following a warning shot from security personnel. The vessel and crew are safe.

Analysis indicates that the vessel targeted was the container ship MSC ELSA 3, while en route to Port Harcourt from Lomé, although this is yet to be confirmed.

Two Maersk container ships have also become subjects of attacks in the Gulf of Guinea since December, making the Danish giant to urge for better protection of vessels in the region.

The news come as the IMB issued its yearly piracy report, recording 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.

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.