New Piracy Hotspot: Gulf of Guinea Update

UK P&I Club
Friday, April 12, 2013

The Club has received the following update on Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea from its correspondents in the area.

“In the Gulf of Guinea, we would remind you that the pirates' zone of action now spreads from the Cameroonian Peninsula up to the Ivory Coast. Incidents of piracy (petroleum cargo theft, hijacking of vessels, kidnapping of crew) have dramatically increased over the last few months in this area. This modus operandi is a very different method to that used by the Somali pirates who demand a ransom for the release of the vessels that they capture.

This increasing insecurity has forced local authorities to react. The Ministers of Defence, Foreign Affairs and Security from 25 Central and West African states met on Tuesday 19th March 2013 in Cotonou, Benin, to establish a plan for cooperation in the fight against piracy and maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea. The Ministers called for governments to arrest and prosecute suspected pirates and seize any vessels believed to have been used in acts of piracy.

In case of piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, we usually recommend that vessels should maintain a good look out and observe all anti-pirates measures as recommended by BIMCO and the International Group of P&I Clubs:

-Razor fencing on the railings I bulwarks on main deck (port/starboard)
-All exterior doors to be kept secured/locked;
-Fire main pressurised with fire hoses ready for immediate use;
-Double watch (lookouts) on the bridge, using at least 2 radars (if fitted) to make sure that even small echoes are detected"

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