Crime International

Pirates abduct eight seafarers in cargo ship off Nigeria coast

Nigerian pirates have abducted another eight crew members on Wednesday, the second successful boarding in two days.

Reporting indicates that the oil/chemical tanker MT New Ranger was boarded 160 nautical miles (nm) southwest of Brass, Nigeria, Dryad Global has highlighted.

The incident, which is said to have concluded with both vessel and crew reported safe, is the second this week in the Gulf of Guinea, and the third time this particular vessel has been boarded in December 2020, Dryad Global outlined.

The company noted that there have been a surge of incidents in the past five weeks, resulting in an increased risk rating for the Gulf of Guinea HRA to ‘critical’.

“As failed attacks continue, perpetrators are highly likely to increase in desperation,” Dryad Global said in a statement posted on its website.

“This is likely to be because of the increased risk to themselves from naval counter piracy activity, but from logistical strain also. Vessels are most vulnerable when skiffs approach under the cover of darkness, approaching and boarding with little to no resistance,” Dryad Global added.

“Vessels are advised to operate within this area at a heightened posture maintaining the highest levels of vigilance whilst implementing full hardening/mitigation in accordance with BMP West Africa where possible. In addition, the IMB advises that vessels remain at least 200nm-250nm offshore where possible,” the company continued.

The MT New Ranger was previously involved in incidents in the Gulf of Guinea in June and September 2011, January 2015 and most recently on December 5 and 6, Dryad Global highlighted.

On Tuesday, Dryad Global announced that a kidnapping incident had occurred in the Gulf of Guinea on a separate vessel. A total number of 130 people are said to have been kidnapped in Gulf of Guinea HRA this year.

Dryad Global works with operators and charterers to ensure profitable business and keep crews and assets safe, according to its website. The company is based in London, UK.

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