Maritime Threat Picture

in collaboration with NORTH

21 April, Twelve seafarers kidnapped from FWN RAPIDE off Nigeria view more

Robber board product tanker in Chittagong Anchorage view more

Piracy threat in Gulf of Guinea view more

7 April, Bulk carrier underway off coast of Nigeria, boarded by armed men view more

Somalia: Tanker under fire from skiffs view more

Yemen, 3 April, Tanker comes under attack off Hodeidah view more

PERU - Risk: of robberies from ships in Callao view more

16 March, Shots fired at product tanker, 29 nautical miles southwest of Bonny Island view more

16 March, Armed pirates board general cargo ship underway off Bonny Island view more

27 February, pirates attempt to hijack a tanker waiting to take on bunkers outside Contonou view more

COTE D'IVOIRE - Risk: Difficult navigation and port conditions in Abidjan view more

Threat: Hijacking and boarding for theft in South China Sea view more

MALACCA STRAIT - Risk: robbery. Maintain strict anti-piracy and robbery watches. view more

SINGAPORE STRAIT - Risk: Armed robbery whilst transiting the Singapore Strait view more

YEMEN - Risk: January 9, 2018, Houthi rebels warn they will block traffic if Saudi-led coalition forces continued their advance on Hodeidah. view more

Risk: Syrian sanctions view more

IRAN - Risk: Iranian Sanctions view more

LIBYA - Risk: fines issued for delays in discharging at Misurata, Libya view more

Risk: Drug trafficking at Puerto Cabello, Lake Maracaibo and Orinoco River ports view more

ALGERIA - Risk: Customs fines in Algeria view more

VIETNAM - Risk: Bulk cargo shortage claims in Vietnam view more

Ice-conditions at Ukrainian ports view more

SENEGAL - Risk: Hull staining at Dakar, Senegal view more

WEST AFRICA - Risk: Drug trafficking in West African ports view more

SUDAN - Risk: Damage and shortage claims for bagged cargo in Port Sudan view more

UAE - Risk Possible delays caused by disembarking crew due to injury or sickness at Fujairah, UAE view more

VENEZUELA - Risk: Economic crisis bringing delays and deteriorating port conditions. There are also reports of piracy, the targets being small fishing vessels. view more

CAMEROON - Risk: Fines imposed for sewage treatment plant effluent non-compliance view more

CHINA - Risk: Theft from ships in Tianjin anchorage view more

GUINEA - Risk: armed robbery at Conakry Anchorage view more

PHILIPPINES - Theft from vessels in Manila and Batangas view more

VENEZUELA - Risk: Delays due to hull cleaning in Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela view more

SENEGAL - Risk: Fines for inaccurate bunker customs declarations in the port of Dakar, Senegal view more

INDIA - Risk: Fines and delays for seafarers failing to submit a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate in Mumbai, India view more

EGYPT - Risk: Fines and delays for breaching Suez Canal rules, Egypt view more

EGYPT- Risk: Fines for fender damage claims in Egyptian ports view more

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Risk: Fines for unauthorised transit through marine reserve areas view more

ARGENTINA - Risk: Grounding in the Parana River, Argentina view more

PERU - Risk: Unexpected charges for sludge removal services at ports in Peru view more

SAUDI ARABIA & UAE Risk: Infection from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome - Corona Virus (MERS-CoV) view more

MEXICO - Risk: Shipper's surveyor forcing Masters to accept pre-prepared non-clausable mate's receipts at Veracruz, Mexico view more

URUGUAY - Risk: Fines and delays for non-compliance with Uruguayan Oil Spill Response Organisation (OSRO) contract requirements view more

AUSTRALIA - Risk: Navigation through the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait, Australia view more

ARGENTINA - Risk: Customs fines for short landing fertilizer cargoes in Argentina view more

ANGOLA - Risk: Fines, ship arrest and delays for carrying out non-approved bunkering operations in Angolan waters view more

LIBYA - Risk: United States Coast Guard imposes further conditions of entry for vessels arriving from Libyan ports view more

LIBYA - Risk: Ship arrest for loading banned illicit crude oil from Libya view more

HONG KONG - Risk: Fines for non-compliance with Hong Kong - Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulations view more

USA - Risk: Fines for non-compliance with MARPOL Annex VI within the US Emission Control Area view more

VENEZUELA - Risk: Self heating petroleum coke at Amuay Terminal, Venezuela view more

CAMEROON - Risk: Vessels grounding in the approaches to Douala port, Cameroon view more

CHINA - Risk: Fines following illegal discharges into the Bohai Sea and China's inland waterways view more

AUSTRALIA - Risk: Detentions and delays arising from Port State Control (PSC) inspections and non-compliance with MLC 2006 regulations view more

SOUTH AFRICA - Risk: Costs and consequences for repatriating stowaways at the port of Cape Town view more

UKRAINE - Risk: Ballast water sampling requirements, Ukraine view more

CHINA - Risk: The collection of tax from non-resident taxpayers engaged in international transportation business with China view more

SAUDI ARABIA - Risk: Potential shortage claims when loading bulk sulphur at Jubail, Saudi Arabia view more

COTE D'IVOIRE - Risk: Ship arrest as a result of paper shortage claims in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire view more

PAKISTAN - Risk: Ship arrest and customs fines as a result of fabricated coal cargo shortage claims in Karachi, Pakistan view more

BULGARIA - Risk: P&I claims arising from grain cargo contamination loaded at Varna, Bulgaria view more

ROMANIA - Risk: P&I claims arising from grain cargo contamination loaded at Constantza, Romania view more

CHINA - Risk: Navigation danger due to expansion of aquaculture at Lanshan, China view more

CANADA - Risk: Ice navigation in Canadian waters during the winter months view more

CHINA - Risk: Fines, Port State Control detentions and delays for breaching regulations for passing through the Qiongzhou Straits, China view more

COTE D'IVOIRE - Risk: Fines imposed by customs officials due to inaccuracies in customs documentation at Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire view more

VENEZUELA - Risk: Misdeclared metallic iron content of Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) cargoes at San Felix, Venezuela view more

MALAYSIA - Risk: Bauxite with a high moisture content loaded at Kuantan, Malaysia, may be prone to liquefaction view more

GHANA - Risk: Fines imposed for the landing of stowaways in Takoradi, Ghana view more

GABON - Risk: Fines imposed by customs officials due to inaccuracies in port clearance documentation at Port Gentil, Gabon view more

CHINA - Risk: Fertilizer loaded in Chinese ports susceptible to caking and contamination view more

COTE D'IVOIRE - Risk: Delays resulting from port officials' refusal to land stowaways at Abidjan and San Pedro, Cote d'Ivoire view more

CHINA - Risk: Danger to navigation due to sea ice in the Baohai Sea, China view more

KUWAIT - Risk: Claims arising from grain cargo shortages in Shuwaikh port, Kuwait view more

CHINA - Risk: Cargo claims and potential liquefaction of fluorspar cargoes in China view more

PAKISTAN - Risk: Bulk liquid cargo shortage claims in Karachi, Pakistan view more

BRAZIL - Risk: Bauxite with a high moisture content loaded at Trombetas, Brazil may be prone to liquefaction view more

SAUDI ARABIA - Risk: Grain cargo shortage claims at Saudi Arabian ports view more

ANGOLA - Risk: Damages and shortage claims for bagged rice cargoes to Luanda view more

INDONESIA - Risk: Potential mis-declaration of Indonesian nickel ore cargoes in Indonesia view more

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - Risk: US Environmental Protection Agency fines for noncompliance with MARPOL Annex VI low sulphur content fuels. view more

UKRAINE - Risk: Black-listing and possible ship arrest resulting from previously visiting Crimean ports view more

THAILAND - Risk: Fines and delays as a result of loading/discharging dangerous goods without permission from Thailand's Marine Safety and Environment Bureau/Harbour Department view more

TURKEY - Risk: Fines for short landing of cargo at Turkish ports view more

HONG KONG - Risk: Fines for emitting dark smoke in the port of Hong Kong view more

INDONESIA - Risk: Fraudulent Port State Control (PSC) inspection charges in Indonesia view more

SIERRA LEONE - Risk: Issues associated with loading iron ore cargo from Pepel port and Freetown anchorage view more

GHANA - Risk: Bauxite with a high moisture content loaded at Takoradi may be prone to liquefaction view more

SIERRA LEONE - Risk: Problems associated with the loading of bauxite on the Sherbro River, Sierra Leone view more

SOUTH AFRICA - Risk: Costs and consequences for repatriating stowaways at the port of Durban view more

NORTH AMERICA - Risk: Delays due to the discovery of Asian Gypsy Moth in Canada and the USA view more

SUDAN - Risk: Regular shortage claims following the discharge of bulk wheat at Port Sudan view more

ALGERIA -Risk: Customs fines due to shortage claims for grain cargoes shipped to Algeria view more

INDIA - Risk: Cargo claims and potential liquefaction of iron ore cargoes in Goa, India view more

MEXICO - Risk: Delays, ship arrest and problems loading iron ore cargo in Mexican ports view more

MEXICO - Risk: Drug cartel activity and acts of violence in and around Mexican port cities view more

South America - Risk: Drug Trafficking throughout South America view more

SOUTH AFRICA - Risk: Ships anchoring in South African coastal waters are obliged to first obtain permission from the South African Maritime Safety Authority view more

YEMEN - Risk: Sanctions and the US Department of the Treasury Specially Designated Nationals List for Yemen view more

SENEGAL - Risk: Senegalese authorities forbid the landing of stowaways at the port of Dakar view more

CAMEROON - Risk: Fines and delays as a result of exaggerated cargo claims at the port of Douala view more

BENIN - Risk: Exaggerated shortage claims resulting in customs fines view more

YEMEN - Risk: Fines, delays and detention as a result of differences in oil record books and shipboard retention of oils, Yemen view more

YEMEN - Risk: Fabricated stevedore personal Injury claims in Yemeni ports view more

YEMEN - Risk: Fines, ship arrest and possible delays as a result of late reporting of Fixed and Floating Object (FFO) claims in Yemen view more

WEST AFRICA - Risk: Bagged rice shortage claims in West African ports view more

YEMEN - Risk: Ship security as a result of the civil war in Yemen view more

GHANA - Risk: Stowaways at Tema Port view more

SIERRA LEONE - Risk: associated with discharging bulk rice at ports in Sierra Leone view more

JORDAN - Risk: Bulk cargo shortage claims in the port of Aqaba view more

LIBYA - Risk: status of, and security at, Libyan Ports view more

YEMEN - Risk: Ship arrest as a result of exaggerated cargo shortage claims in Yemen view more

AUSTRALIA - Risk: Possible ship detention by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority as a consequence of using non-approved navigation charts in Australian waters view more

COLOMBIA - Risk: Possible delays caused by the Colombian Navy carrying out routine anti-drug trafficking searches in Colombia's ports (Puerto Bolivar, Puerto Neuvo and Puerto Drummond) view more

LIBYA - Risk: Sanctions and US Treasury Specially Designated Nationals List, Libya view more

YEMEN - Risk: Unexpected expenses and fines arising from the shifting of vessels, arrival draught restrictions and exceeding time allotted for discharge in Hodeida view more

TURKEY - Risk: Issues associated with loading steel products in Turkish ports view more

SOUTH AFRICA - Risk: Delays caused by ship detentions due to the discovery of armaments on board merchant vessels in South Africa view more

TUNISA - Risk: P&I claims and customs fines arising from short landing of cargo in Tunisian ports. view more

SENEGAL - Risk: Senegalese authorities robustly impose customs fines on vessels calling at Dakar view more

SENEGAL - Risk: Restricted availability of bunkers at Dakar roads, Senegal view more

THAILAND - Risk: Problems associated with loading bulk and bagged sugar in Thailand view more

THAILAND - Risk: Old, damaged bagged rice from Thailand view more

THAILAND - Risk: Potential damage to bagged rice due to dunnaging in Thailand view more

NIGERIA – Risk: Nigerian navy arrest vessels employing the services of armed security guards view more

SUDAN - Risk: Fraudulent steel transactions to Port Sudan view more

TAIWAN - Risk: Damage to nets and equipment, safe transit of the coastal fishing zones of Taiwan view more

GUATEMALA - Risk: Nickel ore can liquefy due to excessive moisture content view more

ARGENTINA - Risk: Customs fines in Argentina relating to the misdeclaration of ship's stores view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Eritrea, but only South of 15º N view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Venezuela. view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Yemen view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Syria view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Saudi Arabia, excluding transit view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Lebanon view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Israel view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Iraq, including all Iraqi offshore terminals view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Iran view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: The port of Jakarata view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Pakistan view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Togo view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Somalia view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Indian Ocean / Arabian Sea / Gulf of Aden / Gulf of Oman / Southern Red Sea view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Benin view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Nigeria view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Libya view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Gulf of Guinea, but only the waters of the Togolese, Beninese and Nigerian Exclusive Economic Zones north of Latitude 3° N view more

USA - Risk: merchant vessels subject to fines and severe delays due to illegal contraband carriage, particularly from the port of Miami and Port Everglades view more

CARIBBEAN - Risk: commercial vessels being used to traffic and smuggle contraband in the Caribbean Basin, particularly to and from the Port of Spain, Trinidad, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and Jamaica view more

ECUADOR - Risk: Drug trafficking, theft and piracy at the Ecuadorian port of Guayaquil and Puerto Bolivar view more

SPAIN - Risk: vessels being used to traffic and/or smuggle contraband from North and West Africa though Algeciras (Spain) into European black markets view more

THE NETHERLANDS AND BELGIUM - Risk: vessels being used to traffic and/or smuggle contraband through the major shipping hubs of Antwerp and Rotterdam view more

LIBYA & SYRIA - Risk: Implications of the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean view more

Pirates operating out of Somalia view more

INDONESIA AND PHILIPPINES - Risk: nickel ore liquefaction due to excessive moisture content during voyages from the Philippines and Indonesia view more

INDONESIA - Threat: of theft from ships at anchor view more

BANGLADESH - Risk of theft from ships anchoring in Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar view more

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Current Incidents
Enduring Risks
Listed Areas
Latest Incidents
23/04/2018 Posn 4.06 - 6.98

Background

Pirates who boarded the 10,600 deadweight tonne (dwt) general cargo vessel FWN RAPIDE off Nigeria have kidnapped 12 of its crew.

The vessel’s owner, Netherlands-based ForestWave, said the vessel had come under attack on April 21 as it prepared to enter Port Harcourt.

Two crew members evaded capture and were reported safe.

The company, in a statement on April 23, said its main priority was to establish contact with the missing seafarers and secure their earliest release.

It said its Emergency Response team was working ‘around the clock’ with the local and international authorities and that the ship, under the control of its two remaining crew members, had been moved to a safe location.

The statement ended by saying ForestWave would not be providing detailed information in case it further compromised the safety of the seafarers who had been seized.

Assessment and Analysis

Attacks on shipping off Nigeria and in the wider Gulf of Guinea are continuing with concerning regularity.

Data collected by International Maritime Bureau (IMB) showed 29 incidents in the Gulf of Guinea in the first three months of 2018, most of them off Nigeria.

Security had been improving in Nigeria’s ports and anchorages and was forcing pirates to operate further out to sea (a bulk carrier that came under attack on April 7 had been over 40 nautical miles (nm) south-southeast of the Nigerian port of Brass).

The latest incident, however, shows vessels in inshore waters remain at risk.

All waters in and off Nigeria and the wider Gulf of Guinea should be seen as dangerous.

Vessels are advised to keep strict watches, especially at night.

They should minimise time spent in anchorages and avoid slow steaming.

They are also advised to take ‘hardening’ measures and to carefully monitor the approach of unknown skiffs.

When under attack, evasive action and the use of citadels have sometimes proved effective countermeasures.

Reported and analysed by North and Gray Page

17/04/2018 UTC Posn 22.12 - 91.44

Background

Robbers armed with an iron rod boarded a product tanker Chittagong Anchorage and attacked a watch keeper.

The ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said the incident happened during darkness on April 12.

Three robbers approached the vessel in a small boat.

They boarded the tanker, hit the local watch keeper and then escaped with stolen ship’s property.

An alarm was raised and the crew mustered.

The Bangladesh Coast Guard sent a patrol boat to search for the perpetrators.

Assessment and Analysis

There has been an increase in attacks against ships in Bangladesh in the last 15 months.

Data collected by the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery in Asia (ReCAAP) recorded 11 incidents in 2017 compared to just two the year before.

Most attacks appear to be opportunistic and although thieves are sometimes armed with knives and similar weapons they generally flee when confronted.

Ships at anchor in Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar should maintain extra watches and if suspicious boats approach an alarm should be raised.

Reported and analysed by North and Gray Page

10/04/2018 UTC Posn 3.44 - 6.37

Background

Armed pirates boarded a bulk carrier underway off the coast of Nigeria.

The ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said four pirates in a speed boat had followed the vessel in the early hours of April 7.

An alarm was raised and the entire crew mustered in the ship’s citadel.

The pirates boarded the vessel and opened fire on the ship’s equipment and accommodation.

They stole cash and property before escaping.

The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre liaised with the Nigerian Navy and the Navy sent a unit to board the ship and escort the vessel to a safe port.

There were no reports of any crew members being injured.

The incident happened 41 nautical miles (nm) south-southeast of Brass.

 

Assessment and Analysis

This was at least the fourth time in less than two months that a ship underway off Nigeria was attacked.

On February 24 Pirates attempted to board a container ship while it was underway 50 nautical miles (nm) south of Bonny Island.

Some three weeks later, on March 16, a general cargo ship was boarded by armed pirates while 36 nm off Bonny Island.

The same day a tanker, also off Bonny Island, came under fire from a speed boat.

All waters in and off Nigeria and in the wider Gulf of Guinea should be seen as dangerous.

The latest attacks show pirates ready to move against vessels underway some distance from the coast. One reason maybe that security has been improving in ports and anchorages.

All vessels are advised to keep strict lookouts.

The latest attack, and other recent examples, show the importance and efficacy of a secure citadel to which the crew can retreat.

It is also recommended ships take ‘hardening measures’ to make boarding more difficult.

Reported and analysed by North and Gray Page

04/04/2018 UTC Posn 13.58 - 51.25

Background

A tanker came under fire while being chased by two skiffs in the Gulf of Aden.

A report by the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said the incident happened in the early hours of daylight on March 31.

Two skiffs with two armed individuals in each skiff closed in while the tanker was underway.

When they were within 100 meters of the tanker they opened fire.

The tanker’s on-board armed security guards responded by returning fire, at which point the skiffs, which were carrying ladders, broke off their attack and moved away.

None of the tanker’s crew was hurt. The tanker itself sustained minor damage.

The attack took place some 100 nautical miles north of Alula in Somalia’s Bari province on the country’s northern coast.

The name of the tanker was not included in the IMB report.

Assessment and Analysis

It is not clear where the skiffs that opened fire on the tanker were from but there have been several attacks on ships off Somalia since the beginning of 2017.

In February 2018 the chemical tanker LEOPARD SUN came under sustained attack from armed men in two skiffs.

That attack, 160 nautical miles east of the Somali coast, was also broken off after an exchange of fire.

In March 2017, the product tanker ARIS 13 was hijacked by pirates off the northern Somali coast and was briefly held in Alula before being released.

Waters off Somalia continue to be designated a High Risk Area.

International naval forces, including those from the European Union and China, operate in the area.

Vessels should register with the EU’s Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) before sailing into the region.

Once in the High Risk Area they should make daily reports to the UKMTO, which acts as a bridge between the shipping industry and security forces.

They should also follow other recommendations in BMP4 (Best Management Practices for Protection against Somalia-based Piracy), including mounting extra watches and deploying high-visibility physical barriers (vessel hardening) to deter boarding.

Reported and analysed by North and Gray Page

04/04/2018 GMT Posn 14.8 - 42.7

Background

The Saudi-led coalition intervening in Yemen’s civil war says an oil tanker has been attacked by Houthi rebels.

A statement said the Saudi tanker was in international waters when it came under fire at around 1330 local time (1030 GMT) on April 3.

It continued: “As a result of that attack, the tanker was subjected to a slight but ineffective hit and it resumed its naval course northwards, escorted by a coalition warship.”

The incident happened west of Yemen’s Red Sea port of Hodeidah.

The statement did not name the tanker neither did it give details of the nature of the attack.

A European Union naval force that operates in the region said it understood that the tanker’s crew were safe and unharmed.

The media department of the Houthi-run Yemeni military said only that its naval forces had “targeted a coalition battleship”.

Assessment and Analysis

Houthi forces, backed by Iran, control much of Yemen’s Red Sea coast and the civil war has frequently threatened to spill into the shipping lanes of the southern Red Sea.

Houthi rebels warned as recently as January 2018 that they might target tanker traffic.

Hodeidah, close to where the latest attack occurred, has been in Houthi hands throughout the four-year conflict and is a crucial entry point for fuel and food.

The Saudis, however, have severely limited shipping traffic to the port.

In the days immediately prior to the tanker attack there were signs that the Yemen conflict was escalating. Houthi forces launched missile strikes on Saudi Arabia and the Saudis were accused of killing civilians in air strikes on Hodeidah.

All ships sailing through the High Risk Area (HRA) that includes parts of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, should register their plans with the Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA).

They should also use the Maritime Security Transit Corridor (MSTC) set up by US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) in the Western Indian Ocean and Red Sea regions.

Reported and analysed by North and Gray Page

21/03/2018 UTC Posn 3.57 - 6.52

Background

There has been more pirate activity off Bonny Island, Nigeria.

The ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said a product tanker came under fire from a high-speed boat carrying eight armed men.

According to the IMB report, the tanker began evasive manoeuvres and alerted its own on-board armed security team.
The attackers then broke off their approach.

All the tanker’s non-essential crew had been ordered to the ship’s citadel and there were no reports of any injuries.

The Nigerian Navy was notified.

The attack took place 29 nautical miles southwest of Bonny Island on March 16, the same day a cargo ship was boarded by armed pirates in nearby waters.

Assessment and Analysis

This was the sixth reported attack on shipping off Nigeria since the beginning of February and the fourth on ships underway off Bonny Island, according to IMB data.

All waters in and off Nigeria and in the wider Gulf of Guinea should be seen as dangerous.

Vessels should avoid slow steaming while underway and minimise time spent in anchorages.

They are also advised to take ‘hardening measures’ to make boarding more difficult.

Reported and analysed by North and Gray Page

19/03/2018 UTC Posn 3.57 - 6.42

Background

A general cargo ship was boarded by armed pirates while underway 36 nautical miles (nm) off Bonny Island, Nigeria.

The incident happened shortly after dawn on March 16.

Details supplied by the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said the crew raised the alarm and retreated to the ship’s citadel.

Meanwhile the IMB reporting centre, which had been contacted by the vessel’s owners, alerted the Nigerian Navy.

Patrol boats were dispatch to come to the ship’s assistance.

Naval personnel boarded the ship but no intruders were found.

 

Assessment and Analysis

This was the fifth attack on shipping off Nigeria reported to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) in less than eight weeks.

On February 24 armed pirates tried and failed to board a container ship underway 50 nautical miles (nm) south-south-west of Bonny Island.

An attack by armed pirates on refrigerated cargo shop (reefer) on February 9, however, saw four crew members being kidnapped.

That attack too was south-south-west of Bonny Island.

The other incidents involved armed pirates boarding a product tanker as it approach the Bonny Fairway Buoy and robbers boarding a product tanker in Lagos anchorage.

All waters in and off Nigeria and in the wider Gulf of Guinea should be seen as dangerous.

Vessels should avoid slow steaming while underway and minimise time spent in anchorages.

They are also advised to take ‘hardening measures’ to make boarding more difficult.

Reported and analysed by North and Gray Page

27/02/2018 LC Posn 6.21 - 2.26

Background

Pirates have attacked a tanker waiting outside Cotonou in Benin to take on bunkers.

The incident happened during the hours of darkness on the morning of February 27.

The pirates boarded the 8,000 deadweight tonne (dwt) ST MARSEILLE with what appeared to be the intention of carrying out a hijack. Some reports say they were able to gain access to the bridge.

They were confronted by the tanker’s armed security team and there was an exchange of fire. Two members of the team were reportedly wounded.

The pirates fled the vessel in a lifeboat taking the tanker’s master and another crew member hostage.

The lifeboat and the kidnapped seafarers were later found abandoned in Nigerian territorial waters.

The crew members were unharmed and were able to return to their vessel.

Assessment and Analysis

Two product tankers have been hijacked from Cotonou Anchorage since the start of 2018.

Both hijacks ended within a matter of days and their crews were unharmed.

In a separate incident, ten days before the attempted hijack of the ST MARSEILLE, armed intruders were spotted on the deck of another tanker at the port’s anchorage. They fled when an alarm was raised.

Vessels in waters around Cotonou and Benin should maintain strict anti-piracy and watches, particularly at night.

Reported and analysed by North and Gray Page