Piracy Attacks Reported in West Africa Waters

News Release
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Pirates: Photo credit USN

Latest piracy report from Office of Naval Intelligence warns of West African attacks on merchant ships

The Worldwide Threat to Shipping (WTS) message from ONI provides information on threats to, and criminal action against, merchant vessels worldwide. The following attacks have recently taken place in West African waters:

DEM.REP.CONGO: Refrigerated Cargo Ship boarded  while anchored in the E, Boma Anchorage. Ten robbers in two boats boarded the ship stole cargo, stores took crewman as temporary hostage.

NIGERIA: Chemical tanker approached off Port Harcourt Fairway Buoy. Seven heavily armed robbers in a speed boat approached the tanker, bridge crew raised the alarm, increased speed and set course away from land. The armed naval guards onboard the vessel made their presence known. Seeing vessel readiness and armed guards, the robbers aborted the attempted attack and moved away.

Refrigerated cargo ship boarded off Port Harcourt. Eight pirates armed with guns boarded the ship from a small wooden boat and started firing towards the bridge and galley areas. The pirates ransacked the ship and stole crew cash, personal effects, and ship’s cash and property. They took hostage the ship’s Master and Chief Engineer and escaped. The ship informed the local authorities through the agents and sailed to a safe distance without the presence of Master and Engineer aboard. One crew wounded and one other crewman remains unaccounted for. 

IVORY COAST: Offshore supply ship boarded off W, Abidjan Inner Anchorage 9. Three robbers in a canoe, armed with knives, boarded from the port side main deck. One robber threatened the watchman with a knife while the other two took a pressure washer and they left the ship. The alarm was raised and Port Control was informed. After a short while a harbor police patrol boat came and returned the stolen item. No injuries and no damage to the vessel were reported.


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