A recent article published in Dryad reports about the MT VEMAHOPE being attacked by a single speedboat with an unknown number of armed individuals on board.
According to the reports, the MT VEMAHOPE was attacked by a single speedboat and the number of armed individuals on board the speedboat remains unknown.
10 crew members were reportedly kidnapped after unidentified men boarded the vessel.
Crew kidnaps in 2020
With this kidnapping of 10 crew from the MT VEMAHOPE, the total number of crew kidnapped from vessels operating in West Africa within 2020 is increased to 42 personnel.
Location of the incident
The incident location was identified to be:
- 39nm NE of an incident involving a vessel being fired upon in February 20 and
- 101nm NW of what appeared to be a focus of incident reporting within 2019.
Historically incident reporting within this area is significantly less than that of the wider Delta area, principally as a result of less traffic density however across 2019 and 2020 there has been a gradual increase in incidents occurring beyond traditional maritime crime heartlands.
The 7th incident
If confirmed, this incident would be the 7th deep offshore incident within the Nigerian EEZ within 2020.
Total incidents in West Africa have thus far tracked 2019 trends almost exactly with a partial fall of only 1 incident seen in 2020 compared to incidents over the same time-frame in 2019.
Attempted boarding was reported , 2.5nm East Takoradi Port.
According to Dryad reports, in a similar case, 6 individuals have been arrested by authorities while attempting to board the Tanker EPIC BERMUDA 2.5nm East of Takoradi.
OOW’s immediate action
- During the initial boarding attempt the Officer on Watch noticed the perpetrators and sounded the alarm.
- The OOW then started the vessel’s engines and attempted to manoeuvre the vessel so as to disrupt the attempt.
- The authorities at Takoradi dispatched a patrol vessel which arrested the 6 individuals.
- Crew is reported to be safe.
This is the 4th incident in the waters off Takoradi within 2020 and the third within 3nm of Takoradi Port.
Vessels advised to be watchful
Vessels are advised to maintain vigilance when calling at Takoradi and in light of the increase in recorded incidents, are encouraged to employ appropriate vessel hardening so as to deter such incidents.
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