Members of the shipping community, Flag States and Agencies from Gulf of Guinea gathered at the IMO Headquarters for a day-long symposium on Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea. The shipping industry, as well as seafarer groups, organized the event aiming to give emphasis to the continuing danger to seafarers that are sailing in the Gulf of Guinea.
On 21 April, suspected pirates seized a fishing dhow off the coast of Somalia, holding 23 people hostage. In a few hours, the European Union’s counter-piracy force EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta had responded to the attack. Two days later, the incident had ended, with Operation Atalanta detaining five suspects and releasing the 23 hostages.
Diaplous Maritime Services has produced a White Paper on the issue of the HRA border reduction in the Indian Ocean, which includes a detailed threat analysis on Somali Based Piracy after taking into consideration a number of variables. The official position of Diaplous is that shipping companies should not become complacent in matters of maritime security, in order to prevent a resurgence of piracy and that BMP 5 standards should be followed at all times for Somali Basin & GoA transits.
The ECSA delegation met with the EU NAVFOR’s team to discuss the current state of piracy off the coast of Somalia, also visiting the naval assets participating in Operation Atalanta. EU NAVFOR is committed to deter, prevent, and suppress piracy and also highlight that the Maritime Industry must continue to adhere to BMP measures in order to maximize the safety of the ships and crews whilst transiting the high-risk area.
According to NIMASA, the Nigerian-flagged vessel MV CHARIS, tugboat, was attacked on May 5 by unknown assailants and rescued by the Spanish Navy. The rescued vessel was sent to Equatorial Guinea and has been released.
Mr Kurt Cornelis, Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, announced in a press conference that the EU decided to support the implementation of strategies in maritime, fisheries and illegal drug trafficking that are taking place in the Gulf of Guinea.
During the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference in Asia, the Information Fusion Centre (IFC) focused on piracy and sea robbery incidents in the South East Asia, highlighting a 62% decline from 2015 to 2018.
According to Ghana News Agency, eight pirates were arrested, when Togolese navy thwarted a maritime hijacking in progress in the Gulf of Guinea. The ones arrested were six Nigerians and two Togolese. The navy quickly responded by dispatching its patrol boats to investigate. The tanker was intercepted 25 nm from the anchorage area and forced to return to Lome.
In Eleni Shipping Limited v Transgrain Shipping BV (The Eleni P), Steamship Mutual informs that the Commercial Court considered an appeal under section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 by Owners of an award in which the Tribunal rejected Owners’ claim for hire to be paid by Charterers during the period for which the vessel was detained by pirates in the Arabian Sea.
Blue Marlin, Boskali’s heavy transport vessel was hijacked on Sunday, May 5, about 80 nautical miles offshore Equatorial Guinea. In a statement, the company announced that the vessel’s crew was freed due to professional response of the crew and a coordinated support from the navy of Equatorial Guinea and Spain, the violent hijacking has been ended and the crew was safely freed.
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