Damen delivers two more offshore patrol vessels to Nigeria’s Homeland
Dutch shipbuilder Damen has delivered two additional fast crew supplier vessels configured as patrol boats to West African offshore services supplier Homeland Integrated Offshore Services Limited (HIOSL).
Damen said on Tuesday that the two FCS 3307 vessels were delivered just five months after the contracts were signed.
The vessels, named Guardian 9 and Guardian 10, add to the existing FCS 3307 patrol fleet that Homeland has been operating for the past five years.
With 33 meters in length, the FCS 3307 Patrol shares the same attributes as the other variants available. Its Axe-Bow hull allows for a top speed of 28 knots produced by three Caterpillar main engines.
With six crew members and 12 security personnel, the vessels will be able to remain at sea for up to four weeks, in and around Nigeria’s coastal and offshore oil fields.
As privately-owned vessels, they have no offensive capability apart from the security personnel on board and their equipment, however, they are well defended. The bridges are bulletproof and armored, which protects non-combatants in the event of a fire being exchanged.
Like their fast crew supplier sisterships, each has a 75 square meter cargo deck. This allows them to provide express service for the delivery of urgently needed equipment and spares.
It is worth noting that the Nigerian offshore waters are notorious for being one of the most dangerous in the world. Pirates in the area are often well-armed, violent and have attacked hijacked and robbed vessels, kidnapped crews along the coast, rivers, anchorages, ports, and surrounding waters.
Nigerian pirate attacks are not only focused on Nigerian waters. Pirates have attacked offshore vessels in Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, and most recently Equatorial Guinea.
In the past few months, there were several incidents involving Nigerian pirates, one of them with fatal consequences.
Namely, pirates armed with machine guns attacked an offshore support vessel offshore Nigeria in March, kidnapped five men, and escaped. A Nigerian navy guard was killed in the attack.
The second one came two months later, also involving a shootout and Nigerian pirates. The pirate attack resulted in a Boskalis-owned heavy transportation vessel being hijacked offshore Equatorial Guinea.
Luckily, there were no casualties as the crew locked itself in the citadel and waited for the rescue to arrive.
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