Nigeria Records Slight fall in Piracy Attacks
There was a slight reduction in the number of pirate attacks recorded in Nigeria last year, compared to the previous year.
A statement by the International Maritime Bureau said Nigeria had in 2014 recorded 18 pirate attacks, which showed a difference of four attacks when compared with 14 in 2015.
It added that five locations recorded 71 per cent of the world’s 246 attacks in the period under review. They include Indonesia with 108 attacks; Vietnam, 27; Nigeria, 14; leaving Malaysia and India to tie with 13.
The report said, “In Nigeria, on the whole, there were nine actual attacks in which eight ships were boarded and one hijacked. There were also five attempted attacks on vessels.
“The status of the ships at the time included two, which were berthed, three were anchored and four, steaming.”
The report added that the Lagos anchorage area had also been a victim of four of those attacks and warned mariners to exercise caution while transiting through pirate prone areas.
It said, “Pirates and robbers are often well armed, violent and have attacked, hijacked and robbed vessels, kidnapped crew along the coasts, rivers, anchorages, ports and surrounding waters.
“In many past incidents, pirates had hijacked the vessels for several days, ransacked them and stolen part of the cargo, usually gas oil. A number of crew members were also injured and attacked in times past. Generally, all waters in and off Nigeria remain risky. Vessels are advised to be vigilant as many attacks have gone unreported.”
The report listed some of the incidents as a Cook Island Product Tanker, which was hijacked off Bayelsa in January 2015.
“Around 10 pirates armed with AK47 rifles attacked and boarded the tanker, hijacking it and taking hostage all nine crew members. The fuel cargo in the hijacked vessel was transferred onto another vessel. The crew was however saved by the Ghanaian Navy who had dispatched a team to investigate when the vessel moved into its waters
“Two pirate attacks occurred in March; a Belize supply ship attacked and boarded by pirates while anchored at Kwa Ibo. Two crew members were kidnapped and the ship’s properties stolen. The Nigerian Navy sent a dispatch patrol 15 minutes after the distress call,” the report said.
It added that a marshal flagged FPSO was also attacked and boarded by pirates while anchored at Bonny Island. Six armed pirates reportedly boarded the vessel but later fled at the sounding alarm after kidnapping three crew members.
South East Asia still accounts for most of the world’s incidents. Almost 55 per cent of the region’s attacks in 2015 were against vessels underway compared to 37 per cent in 2014, the report stated.
The IMB described the attack on moving vessels as a cause for concern due to increased potential risks to the vessels and their crew.
February 18th, 2016 – Punch News