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Gulf Of Guinea News

07 Apr 2021

Piracy and Ship Attacks in the Gulf of Guinea

© remipiotrowski/AdobeStock

Incidents of piracy and attacks on merchant vessels in waters of the Gulf of Guinea are endemic. There are multiple factors at play, including but not limited to: poverty, limited government presence in coastal communities, minimal maritime law enforcement capability among coastal states, and corruption. Some foreign nations, primarily European, conduct patrols outside the 12 nautical mile territorial seas, but far too few to make a significant dent in the problem, and with no authority to operate closer to shore…

29 Mar 2021

Top Three Takeaway Lessons From the Suez Canal Blockage

© Cnes2021, Distribution Airbus DS

For a week the world was gripped by the extraordinary sight of a massive container ship that had run aground in the Suez Canal in Egypt. The Ever Given is 400m long (1,312ft) and weighs 200,000 tonnes, with a maximum capacity of 20,000 containers. It was carrying 18,300 containers when it became wedged in the canal, blocking all shipping traffic. Efforts to free it finally paid off when it was partially dislodged in the early hours of Monday 29 March. Adejuwon Soyinka asked maritime…

17 Feb 2021

IMO Urges Action to Deter Piracy in Gulf of Guinea

(Photo: IMO)

Enhanced cooperation and implementation of best practices are needed to avoid, deter and report attacks threatening ships and crew in the world's top piracy hotspot, says the United Nations' (UN) maritime agencyKitack Lim, Secretary-General of the UN's International Maritime Organization (IMO) expressed his deep concern about the escalation in the number and severity of attacks on ships and crew in the Gulf of Guinea region, and insisted on the need for a collaborative approach…

15 Feb 2021

Kidnapped Sailors Return to Turkey, Describe Death Threats and Forest Captivity

© Barend J V Rensburg / MarineTraffic.com

Fifteen Turkish sailors kidnapped by pirates last month in the Gulf of Guinea arrived back in Turkey on Sunday and the ship’s captain described how they faced death threats and were held in a forest during their three-week ordeal.The sailors hugged relatives as they arrived before dawn at Istanbul Airport, where they were greeted by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and other officials, two days after news of their release in Nigeria emerged.“We were in a forest. There were tough conditions.

12 Feb 2021

Pirates Release Crew of Containership Mozart

© Barend J V Rensburg / MarineTraffic.com

Fifteen Turkish sailors kidnapped by pirates last month in the Gulf of Guinea have been freed in Nigeria and will head home, a shipping company executive said on Friday, two weeks after the attackers made contact to discuss a ransom.One sailor, a citizen of Azerbaijan, was killed in the raid on January 23 which crew, family members and security sources described as a sophisticated and well-orchestrated attack. Those kidnapped were from Turkey.Speaking to state TV broadcaster TRT Haber…

11 Feb 2021

New Vessel Launched for Gulf of Guinea Security Ops

(Photo: Nautic Africa)

A newly launched multipurpose vessel is destined for for the Gulf of Guinea where it will be utilized for international oil company (IOC)-related assignments as well as escort patrols for larger vessels that have experienced an escalation of pirate attacks within 200 nautical miles of the West African coastline.The new flagship of shipbuilder and maritime services provider Nautic Africa, the 35-meter vessel is the second in the Sentinel class, fully compliant to the standards…

09 Feb 2021

How Will Biden's Iran Strategy Impact Shipping?

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How will Biden read Iranian hostilities? Forceful diplomacy or reckless militancy?Anticipating the Biden Administration’s Iran strategy is crucial for understanding future risks for maritime operators in the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Oman and wider Indian Ocean.Though the new U.S. Administration and the Iranian regime have stated their willingness to rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, they are unlikely to do so.

08 Feb 2021

DG Risk Group Acquires Protection Vessels International

(Photo: DG Risk Group)

DG Risk Group announced Monday it has acquired armed maritime security company Protection Vessels International, along with its trading division Halcyon Yacht Security. The acquisition was completed in 2020.UK-based Protection Vessels International (PVI) specializes in armed maritime security solutions for commercial and governmental agencies. Most recently PVI, in unison with DG Risk Group, supported and partnered with several navies in the Gulf of Guinea in support of two major…

08 Feb 2021

Nigeria's Navy to Toughen Punishment for Collusion with Kidnappers

A Nigerian boarding team during a simulated hijacking scenario (File photo: Luis R. Chavez Jr. / U.S. Navy)

Nigeria’s navy plans to strengthen its measures to root out and punish personnel who collude with kidnappers and criminals, its new naval chief said.Kidnappings in the Gulf of Guinea, which covers 2.3 million square kilometers and borders some 20 countries, hit a record last year, according to the International Maritime Bureau.Well-armed, violent pirates operate there out of Nigeria’s hard-to-police Delta swamps, and experts say their increasingly bold tactics show that better enforcement is badly needed.Rear Admiral A.Z.

02 Feb 2021

Pirates Flee After Failed Bulker Hijacking Off Nigeria

© Pedro Amaral / MarineTraffic.com

Eagle Bulk Shipping confirmed reports that one of its bulk carriers was hijacked in the Gulf of Guinea, and said the vessel and crew are safe now that the incident has been resolved. Maritime security groups had reported that the Marshall Islands-flagged Rowayton Eagle was boarded by pirates off the coast of Nigeria, and AIS tracking suggests the vessel had been adrift since January 27."As you may have read in the press, the M/V Rowayton Eagle was hijacked about 240 miles southeast of Lagos (Nigeria).

28 Jan 2021

Analyzing Attacks at Sea: It's Not All Piracy

© remipiotrowski / Adobe Stock

Pirate attacks against merchant ships off the African coast have been reported regularly over the past decade. And despite measures to suppress it, Somalia-based piracy remains a concern. On the other side of the continent, the Gulf of Guinea is now viewed as presenting a much more serious piracy problem.Last year a record 130 crew members were kidnapped in 22 separate incidents, according to the International Maritime Bureau. The cluster of attacks in November and December has…

28 Jan 2021

Pirates Who Kidnapped Turkish Sailors Make Contact to Talk Ransom

© Barend J V Rensburg / MarineTraffic.com

Pirates who kidnapped 15 sailors from a Turkish-crewed container ship in the Gulf of Guinea on Saturday have made their first contact with the shipping company to discuss a ransom, Turkish state media reported on Thursday.“Communication has been established with crew members of the Mozart container ship,” Istanbul-based Boden Shipping, which provides technical management services for the vessel, was quoted as saying by state-owned Anadolu news agency.“Information has been obtained that all 15 crew members are in good health, not wounded and together,” it said.One sailor, an Azerbaijani citizen

25 Jan 2021

Why Are Pirates Attacking Ships in the Gulf of Guinea?

© Venera / Adobe Stock

Pirates are stepping up attacks on ships in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, defying regional navies. On Saturday, pirates off Nigeria kidnapped 15 sailors from a Turkish container ship and killed one.Pirates in the Gulf of Guinea kidnapped 130 seafarers in 22 separate incidents last year, accounting for all but five of those seized at sea worldwide.Who are the pirates and why are the attacking?The pirates come from Nigeria’s turbulent Niger Delta, experts say. The region produces the bulk of the nation’s petroleum…

25 Jan 2021

Nigeria: Pirates Kill One, Kidnap 15 Sailors from Turkish Cargo Ship


Image Credit: STOCKSTUDIO/AdobeStock

Pirates off Nigeria's coast kidnapped 15 sailors from a Turkish container ship in the Gulf of Guinea on Saturday in a brazen and violent attack that was farther from shore than usual.One sailor was killed in the raid, an Azerbaijani citizen, while those kidnapped are from Turkey, according to the respective governments and a crew list seen by Reuters.Accounts from crew, family members and security sources described a sophisticated and well-orchestrated attack on Saturday in which armed pirates boarded the ship and breached its protective citadel…

13 Jan 2021

Maritime Security: Neo-colonialism in the Gulf of Guinea

© Lucia / Adobe Stock

Is neo-colonialism in the Gulf of Guinea the answer to West Africa’s maritime crime crisis?In October 2020, China’s transport ministry established an ad hoc workgroup to lay down precautionary measures for ships and seafarers passing through high piracy risk West African waters.The move came as China told its vessels to up vigilance and implement a series of precautionary measures to ensure the security of ocea-going vessels and seafarers amid rising attacks and a surge in kidnaps in the Gulf of Guinea.Plans outlined by Wu Chungeng…

19 Nov 2020

Nigerian Crew Boat Owner Opts for Fueltrax

Credit: Fueltrax

Fueltrax, a provider of marine fuel management systems, has said that a major Nigerian vessel owner and operator for fast crew boats and security vessels has upgraded two of its onboard electronic fuel monitoring systems to Fueltrax.Fueltrax said the client opted for its solution due to standards not being met with a previous electronic fuel monitoring system (EFMS)."The new vessels coming online with Fueltrax include two fast crew boats operating in the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria…

15 Oct 2020

Gulf of Guinea Kidnappings by Pirates Rise 40%

Illustration only - Pirates in Africa - Credit: U.S. Navy/Wikimedia

Kidnappings rose by 40% in the Gulf of Guinea in the first nine months of this year, and the region off West Africa's coast now accounts for 95% of global maritime kidnappings, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said on Wednesday.Eighty seafarers were taken in the Gulf of Guinea, a 2.3 million sq km (888,000 sq m) area bordering more than a dozen countries, sharply up from the same period in 2019, and the pirates are attacking further out to sea than before, the IMB said.Pirates…

29 Aug 2020

Report: Pirate Attack on Oil Tanker Thwarted Off Ghana

Image Credit: Praesidium International

An attempted pirate attack on the Marshal Islands-flagged tanker Pike was reportedly thwarted on Friday morning offshore Ghana.According to Praesidium, a maritime security intelligence firm, the tanker, which had left Lagos the day before, was approached on Friday around 0350 UTC by a small craft with six to eight persons aboard.“Perpetrators attempted to board the vessel, but evasive maneuvers performed by the Master hampered their attempt. The vessel and crew are reported safe…

12 Aug 2020

Nigeria Convicts First Pirates Under New Maritime Law

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A Nigerian court made the first convictions under a new anti-piracy law, giving hope to the world's shipping fleets that legal reforms will help stem rising attacks in the Gulf of Guinea.The three men fined by the court in Port Harcourt, Nigeria's oil hub, on Tuesday were among nine accused of hijacking the tanker MV Elobey VI off Equatorial Guinea in March and securing a $200,000 ransom for the crew.The merchant shipping industry has long pressed Nigeria to take action in the area…

31 Jul 2020

Maritime Security: Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail

© Denys Yelmanov / Adobe Stock

North America is historically one of the world’s safest regions for maritime transit and operations. Our data shows that of the 2,915 reported global maritime crime incidents that have occurred in the last decade, only nine of them took place in North America. This figure comes from a range of threats against both commercial, and pleasure craft vessels, primarily, attempted, or successful: attacks, suspicious approaches, illegal boardings, hijackings, kidnappings, robberies and exchanges of gunfire. This is what many of us boil down to the eye-catching buzzword “piracy”.

24 Jul 2020

Asian Piracy Incidents Double in H1 2020

Of the 51 piracy incidents reported through the first six months of 2020, 31 (61%) occurred to ships at anchor/berth and 20 (39%) to ships underway. (© hit1912 / Adobe Stock)

The number of reported attacks against ships has doubled in Asia over the first half of 2020, elevating security concerns for mariners across the region.A total of 51 cases of piracy and armed robbery against ships (including 50 actual incidents and one attempted incident) were reported in Asia from January through June 2020, up from 28 incidents (25 actual and three attempted) during the same period for 2019, according to ReCAAP Information Sharing Center's (ISC) latest half-yearly report.A growing number of attacks occurred in one of the world's busiest shipping lanes…

20 Jul 2020

Crew Kidnapped from Tanker in the Gulf of Guinea

© Martin Smith / MarineTraffic.com

Armed pirates have reportedly kidnapped 13 seafarers from a Liberian-flagged product tanker in the Gulf of Guinea off West Africa, continuing a rise in attacks on vessels in the world's most dangerous piracy hot spot.The Curcacao Trader was approached by eight armed individuals aboard a single speedboat and boarded 232 nautical miles southwest of Lagos, Friday. Among those abducted are seven Russian nationals, according to the Russian embassy in Nigeria. The other five crew members…

15 Jul 2020

Crew Kidnappings Soar in West Africa

Sendje Berge FPSO - Image by Gwenolé de KERMENGUY/MarineTraffic

Crew kidnappings and violent attacks on vessels in the oil-rich West Africa region have soared in 2020, with 77 seafarers taken hostage or kidnapped for ransom since January, according to the ICC International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) latest piracy report.The Gulf of Guinea off West Africa is increasingly dangerous for commercial shipping, accounting for just over 90% of maritime kidnappings worldwide. Meanwhile, ship hijackings are at their lowest since 1993, the report said.“Violence against crews is a growing risk in a workforce already under immense pressure…