Swire Pacific Offshore, an offshore vessel operator, confirmed that seven crew members aboard its Pacific Warden, an Anchor Handling Tug Supply Vessel (AHTS), were kidnapped by pirates offshore Equatorial Guinea last week.
Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe has stated that West African states’ failure to coordinate their response to piracy off their coastline is the reason why attacks are still apparent. Bloomberg reports that while the 15 states and western partners signed a pact in 2013 to collaborate in the fight against piracy, the region still accounts for 40% of the world’s reported incidents.
Up to eight pirates attacked the Italian supply vessel ‘Remas’ on November 11, in the Gulf of Mexico. Two crew members suffered injuries, which are not life threatening. The pirates approached the supply ship with two fast boats.
Under the recent piracy events that took place and led to the hostage of seafarers, ITF’s section chair David Heindel called on the shipping industry, governments and unions to work collaboratively to eliminate piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) both denounce the attack against the bulk carrier “MV BONITA” and highlight that they both closely monitor the situation.
Pirates boarded the tanker ‘Elka Aristotle’ on 4 November, off Lome, Togo, kidnapping 4 crew members, European Navigation confirmed. Now, the company is trying to free the kidnapped crew, highlighting that the safety of its crew is of paramount importance.
During the early morning hours of Saturday, November 2, pirates boarded the bulk vessel MV Bonita, taking hostage nine crew-members, off Cotonou in Benin.At the time, the J.J. Ugland vessel was at anchor, waiting for berth to discharge inbound cargo of gypsum, mostly used as fertiliser. According to a statement of the company, the remaining members of crew contacted the local authorities and later in the same day, the Norway-flagged vessel docked at the port city of Cotonou.
Two patrol vessels join the fleet operated by Homeland Integrated Offshore Services in Nigeria, specifically in the Gulf of Guinea in order to protect and boost the offshore assets of Homeland’s clients, among which are major oil companies.
ICC’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reports 119 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships for 2019, in comparison to the 156 incidents that were reported in the same period in 2018, with the Gulf of Guinea remaining a high risk area for piracy and armed robbery.
Nautilus International heard the results of the Nautilus Federation report regarding criminalisation in the shipping industry. The results show that approximately 90% of the seafarers questioned, expressed concerns about the issue, while two thirds said it impacted the way they felt about working in the profession.
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