As a tanker was anchored at Bonny Outer Anchorage, Nigeria, on April 19, pirates boarded the ship. After that, they kidnapped six of the crew members and escaped. According to IMB, the rest of the crew are reported to be safe, while the Nigerian navy was notified and investigations are ongoing.
On 21 April, fishing vessels FV Adria and FV Txori Argi were attacked by suspected pirates in the Indian Ocean, 280 NM off the coast of Somalia, EU NAVFOR reported. The piracy attacks were thwarted, and the crew and vessels remained safe, due to the implementation of Best Management Practices protection measures by the Masters, the crews and the private security teams on both fishing vessels.
Four persons in a speed boat armed with automatic weapons approached and boarded an anchored product tanker, on April 15, at Bonny River Inner Anchorage, Nigeria. Fires were shot, with the pirates eventually retreating and escaping. One guard was injured during the shooting and was given first aid by the crew. The remaining crew are reported to be safe.
ReCAAP ISC published its Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia for the 1st Quarter Report, from January to March 2019. The report presented a 52% reduction in the total number of incidents reported during January-March 2019, in comparison to the same period in 2018. Both the total number of incidents and number of actual incidents reported during January-March 2019 are the lowest among the period of January-March of 13-year.
The “Serviola” patrol boat, during its surveillance and maritime security operation in the Gulf of Guinea, managed to free the crewmembers of a merchant ship held by a group of nine pirates, on April 9. The crew of the Nigerian flag merchant ship had been kidnapped for four days. The pirates also stole the money and all the valuables of its endowment, as well as a significant part of the provisions.
The International Chamber of Commerce International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) published its report for the first quarter of 2019, revealing less incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships than the first three months of 2018. During the first quarter of 2019, IMB reported 38 incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea, which are 28 less incidents than the first quarter of 2018, which stood at 66.
The Nigerian Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, reiterated the Government’s determination to clear the Nigerian territorial waters of criminalities through the Integrated Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, otherwise known as the Deep Blue Project. What is more, NIMASA is in collaboration with the National Assembly to ensure that the Antipiracy Bill will pass soon.
The UK Hydrographic Office has presented Security of Navigation, Stabilisation Advice and Training to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles. The training is designed to improve maritime security and safety of navigation in the Indian Ocean by helping Seychelles share crucial maritime safety information with ships and partners in the region.
With the proliferation of instruments and institutions over the last decade, the time has come to focus on deconflicting and coordinating the various portions of the maritime security architecture around Africa, said Dr. Ian Ralby, the Africa Center’s faculty lead for maritime law and security.
While speaking at the last SAFETY4SEA Conference in Cyprus, Mr. Dimitris Maniatis, Chief Commercial Officer, Diaplous Maritime Services, provided a recap of the current maritime security status, focusing on key high risk areas, such as the Indian Ocean region and West African waters. For the Gulf of Guinea, he stressed, Piracy and Maritime Aggression is never ending.
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