Gulf of Guinea Accounts for 95% of Crew Abduction, Report Says


The Gulf of Guinea remains the world’s piracy hotspot, accounting for over 95 per cent of crew numbers kidnapped worldwide in 2020, reports the Nation quoting the insurance giant, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE’s (AGCS).

The insurer made this known in its Safety & Shipping Review 2021.

Crew change crisis

According to the report, 49 large ships got lost worldwide last year with total losses down 50 per cent over 10 years while number of shipping incidents stood at 2,703, declining year-on-year.

The industry was resilient through pandemic, but crew change crisis has long-term consequences.

However, COVID-19 delays and surge in demand for shipping increasing cost of insurance claims. Inadequate ship maintenance could bring future claims.

Cyber and climate change challenges ahead

The report stated: “Suez Canal incident shows ever-increasing vessel sizes continue to pose a disproportionately large risk with costly groundings and salvage operations. High number of fires and containers lost at sea. The world’s piracy hotspot, the Gulf of Guinea, accounted for over 95 per cent of crew numbers kidnapped worldwide in 2020.”

The international shipping industry continued its long-term positive safety trend over the past year but has to master COVID-19 challenges, apply the learnings from the Ever-Given Suez Canal incident and prepare for cyber and climate change challenges ahead.”

The shipping sector total losses are at historic low levels for the third year running. However, it is not all smooth sailing. The ongoing crew crisis, the increasing number of issues posed by larger vessels, growing concerns around supply chain delays and disruptions, as well as complying with environmental targets, bring significant risk management challenges for ship owners and their crews.”

Global hotspot for marine losses

The South China, Indochina, Indonesia and Philippines maritime region remains the global loss hotspot, accounting for one in every three losses in 2020 (16) with incidents up year-on-year. Cargo ships (18) account for more than a third of vessels lost in the past year and 40 per cent of total losses over the past decade. Foundered (sunk/submerged) was the main cause of total losses over the past year, accounting for one in two vessels. Machinery damage/failure was the top cause of shipping incidents globally, accounting for 40 per cent.”

On the blocking of the Suez Canal by the Ever-Given container ship in March 2021, the report stated that it is the latest in a growing list of incidents involving large vessels or mega-ships.

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Source: The Nation


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