Nigeria: Pirates attack two offshore vessels. Two crewmembers kidnapped

Two crewmembers of an offshore supply vessel have been kidnapped offshore Nigeria this week.

According to the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre , the pirates attacked and boarded the offshore supply vessel underway. Alarm was raised and crew was mustered. IMB PRC says the non-essential crew retreated into the citadel.

In an incident which reportedly happened on Tuesday, 97 nautical miles southwest from Brass Nigeria, the pirates robbed and kidnapped two crewmembers. All remaining crew was reported safe. No data on the name or the owner of the vessel was provided.

Furthermore, a similar incident reportedly happened on Wednesday, 39 miles southwest of Brass Nigeria.

Namely, pirates attacked and boarded an offshore supply vessel underway, however they escaped before Nigerian Navy boarded the vessel. All crew was reported safe. Vessel was escorted to a safe port by Nigerian Navy.

Serious piracy return

Dryad, a maritime intelligence company, had predicted a return to serious piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, particularly in Nigerian waters in the final quarter of 2015. According to Dryad at least one Pirate Action Group (PAG) that became active in that period has increased its frequency of attacks in the first quarter of 2016.

In its report of the first quarter of 2016, Dryad said that fourteen commercial vessels have been attacked off Rivers and Bayelsa States. Eight of those raids were ‘unsuccessful’ due to evasive manoeuvring conducted by Masters and crew evading capture by locking themselves inside their ship’s citadel. In six of those incidents, 23 crew members have been kidnapped for ransom, Dryad added.

Their captors have released the majority of kidnapped crew, but five mariners from support vessel MV Smit Lingga on February 26, along now with the five abducted on March 26 from MT Sampatiki, remain in captivity.

Sizeable ransom payments to the gangs responsible for these attacks have almost certainly been made to secure their release, Dryad said in its report revealed on April 12, 2016.

To remind, French offshore shipowner Bourbon Offshore said in March its crewmembers that had been captured by pirates in February were released. The French OSV supplier did not provide details on the potential ransom.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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