23 February 2024
Pirates are believed to have boarded a 6,000DWT Singapore-owned product tanker in the Gulf of Guinea.
The incident comes less than a month after six seafarers were abducted from a Monjasa tanker sailing in the region
Yet another tanker has been suspected to have been boarded by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea, according to an alert put out by Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade — Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GoG).
The firstly unnamed tanker was boarded on Monday while approximately 309 nautical miles southwest of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, following the MDAT-GoG warning alert.
Security consultant Ambrey Limited noted that the vessel’s AIS transmissions stopped at 14:25 UTC, 25 minutes after the incident reportedly started. At the time, the vessel was drifting with an estimated 2.1m freeboard.
Ambrey Limited understands that the vessel routinely engages in ship-to-ship operations with commercial fishing vessels and other bunker tanker operators in West Africa.
Moreover, the security consultants Praesidium International identified the vessel as the Singapore-flagged Success 9, a 6,135 DWT product tanker owned by HS Ocean of Singapore.
The consultants stated the below note to clients in an effort, to advise merchant vessels to adopt heightened vigilance in the area.
“The apparent modus operandi and the target aligned with a pattern of recent attacks on merchant vessels operating in the regional bunker trade. These have involved extended duration robberies,”Ambrey Limited
Piracy has been a challenge throughout history, but in recent years, it has transformed into a well-organized criminal business that poses a problem for the shipping industry and is a serious threat to seafarers. Today’s marine pirates are no longer interested in primitive “smash and grab” attacks. Instead, they hijack vessels to kidnap crew and steal valuable cargo. These modern-day pirates are usually well-informed about their potential victim ship and are adequately armed for the job. The challenge arising, therefore, is how to protect against such a force.