According to reports, six pirates boarded the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker “Duke” on December 15, Sunday, which was sailing from Luanda, Angola, to Lomé, Togo and abducted all 20 but one crewmembers; This marks the largest incident taking place in West Africa for 2019.
Following the abduction of four crewmembers from “Elka Aristotle” tanker off Lome, Togo, the managing company of the Greek-flagged tanker announces that three of the crewmembers taken are free. However, the company reports that one of the four kidnapped crew, of Filipino nationality, has died, in what it is understood to not be a from actions by those holding the crew hostage but due to illness.
A Nigerian man suspected of kidnapping the crew of a Dutch cargo ship last year was arrested upon arrival at Schiphol airport in the Netherlands at around 10 a.m. on Thursday, December 5, after being extradited from South Africa.
Located in the far north of country, the Port of Pemba has recently assured stakeholders that it has undertaken all the necessary security measures in order to protect its facilities as has been granted the International Ships and Ports Security (ISPS) Code by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
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.
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