PIRACY: TANKER ATTACKED;10 CREW KIDNAPPED
A Panama-flagged product tanker was reportedly attacked in Nigerian waters by pirates in a speedboat. They boarded the ship and take 10 crew hostages.
The attack was launched during the evening hours, yesterday, 30th April some 175NM South of Lagos. The ship was said to be underway, en route from Lome Togo to Cameroon. 10 crew members were kidnapped while four were believed to have remained on board.
According to mainstream reports the incident occurred around 1940 UTC although ship movement indicates that the incident had likely begun over an hour earlier. The tanker is currently drifting and has been joined by a Nigerian patrol vessel around 0630 UTC.
Report indicates that the attack is the seventh deep offshore incident within Nigeria waters this year. Meanwhile, Series of boarding attempts have happened at the general area South-West of Bayelsa State between February and March which have led to a spike in incidents compared to previous years. Several cases have also been recorded earlier this year due to the resurgence of piracy events within the EEZs of Togo and Benin.
However, a slight reduction of pirate attack is foreseen as sea conditions start to deteriorate due to the upcoming rainy season. Yet, this must not lead to a decline in caution while sailing in the area as attacks might still occur just like it happened in previous years.