A spate of piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea over the weekend could bring the kidnapping total in the area to over 50.
On May 9th (unconfirmed) reports indicate that a motor vessel (MV), most likely to be the research vessel MV DJIBLOHO was attacked by pirates in a speedboat. The vessel was boarded at the Luba Anchorage, Equatorial Guinea. During the boarding it is reported that two Russians and one Equatorial Guinea national were kidnapped.
On the same day 2nm from Malabo, Equatorial Guinea it was reported that the cargo vessel, RIO MITONG was attacked by pirates while at anchor at Malabo anchorage. The perpetrators are believed to have used ladders to board the vessel resulting in the kidnap of two crew members believed to be one Russian and one Ukrainian. The remaining crew members are understood to be safe.
On the same day 22nm Offshore Cameroon – South Bakassi, six nautical miles southeast of the Moudi Terminal in Cameroon the tanker YUAN QIU HU made a Ch16 call stating that she was being pursued by a speedboat. The tanker is understood to have increased her speed whilst awaiting support from Cameroonian Brigade d’Intervention Rapide forces. Approximately 45mins later the patrol boat closed with the tanker resulting in the speedboat departing.
Experts In Maritime Risk And Global Security, Dryad Global, reports that there has been an increase in reporting concerning suspicious activity – In another report, a speedboat was sighted circling an offshore platform in waters off Mayumba, Gabon.
They concluded that “Whilst the trend of incidents within West Africa is showing a gradual decline, there is an upward trend in severity of incidents notably those involving kidnap for ransom. Vessels operating in this region must maintain the highest levels of vigilance and ensure that vessels are adequately hardened when required.”