Piracy is on the Increase in the Gulf of Guinea
Maritime Update: Piracy Attacks in the Gulf of Guinea.
For the second time in less than twenty-four hours, there has been a piracy attack on a vessel in the Gulf of Guinea. While it appears the crew of the second vessel was able to protect themselves, the two incidents highlight the growing threat to vessels in this area of the world.
Details of the second attack are incomplete, but reports indicate that a product tanker, PTI Nile, was approached and boarded approximately 115 nautical miles south of Lomé, Togo late at night on October 17th. The PTI Nile detected the approach of the pirate vessel and conducted evasive manoeuvres before coming to a halt. The welfare of the crew remains unclear.
Hours earlier, the carrier Methane Princess was attacked by pirates off Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, and one member of the crew was kidnapped from the jetty. The vessel had reportedly completed loading but remained at anchor when it was attacked.
These attacks highlight the overall rise of incidents reported in the Gulf of Guinea. According to the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB), there has been a 40 percent increase in the number of kidnappings reported in the Gulf of Guinea in 2020 versus 2019 with 95 percent of global kidnappings taking place in the area.
Seafarers are being warned to exercise extreme caution and remain alert to potential approaches.
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