Gulf of Guinea/Togo suspended pirates approach product tanker

BACKGROUND

There has been an attempted boarding of a product tanker in the Gulf of Guinea.

The incident happened shortly after midnight on May 22, some 140 nautical miles (nm) south of the Togolese port of Lome.

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said seven suspected pirates in a skiff drew alongside the tanker, which at the time was drifting.

An alarm was raised and the skiff was seen to move away. No crew members were hurt.

The master of the product tanker reported a vessel in the area which could have been acting as a mother ship for pirate operations.

ASSESSMENT AND ANALYSIS

Attacks on shipping in Gulf of Guinea continue with concerning regularity.

All waters in the Gulf, particularly off Nigeria, should be seen as dangerous.

Vessels are advised to keep strict watches, especially at night.

They are also advised to take ‘hardening’ measures and to carefully monitor the approach of unknown skiffs.

Attacks can take place inshore and well outside coastal waters.

Ships should avoid slow steaming and minimise time spent in anchorages.

When under attack, evasive action and the use of citadels have sometimes proved effective countermeasures.

 

Reported and analysed by North and Gray Page