Boskalis Vessel Freed after Being Hijacked off West Africa
Boskalis’ heavy transport vessel Blue Marlin was freed after being boarded by pirates some 80 nautical miles offshore Equatorial Guinea on May 5, the company informed.
After unloading a cargo in the waters of Equatorial Guinea, the Blue Marlin departed last Sunday heading to Malta. In the afternoon hours, the vessel was boarded by several armed pirates.
The company said that all twenty crew members were able to secure themselves in the citadel.
Upon alerting the local authorities of Equatorial Guinea and the NATO mission MDAT-GoG (Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade – Gulf of Guinea), two helicopters were mobilized from Equatorial Guinea, followed by two navy vessels from Equatorial Guinea and the Spanish navy.
The authorities boarded the Blue Marlin on Monday morning and fully searched the vessel. There were no signs of the pirates and the crew was freed from the citadel.
?Así fue cómo el patrullero Serviola @Armada_esp .?? que se encontraba patrullando al oeste de Malabo, en el Golfo de Guinea, liberó a la tripulación de un mercante maltés que se encontraba aislada, en acción conjunta con una fragata guineana, sin encontrar piratas a bordo.? pic.twitter.com/zVVJBmjCj3
— Estado Mayor Defensa (@EMADmde) May 7, 2019
Boskalis said that the pirates took several shots during their time aboard the Blue Marlin and caused substantial material damage on the bridge, preventing the ship from being sailable. The vessel is currently 40 miles offshore Equatorial Guinea, in international waters.
“Through the professional response of the crew and the coordinated support from the navy of Equatorial Guinea and Spain, the violent hijacking has been ended and the crew was safely freed,” Boskalis informed.
After freeing the Blue Marlin, the naval vessels departed the area. The naval unit from Equatorial Guinea left five armed guards on board to protect the Blue Marlin.
Boskalis has now mobilized an oceangoing tug to take the Blue Marlin to a safe location.