One killed, five kidnapped in pirate attack on offshore support vessel in Nigeria

Pirates armed with machine guns attacked an offshore support vessel offshore Nigeria last Saturday, kidnapped five men, and escaped. A Nigerian navy guard was killed in the attack.

According to a piracy report by ICC Commercial Crime Services (CCS), a division of International Chamber of Commerce, pirates armed with machine guns in two speed boats approached an offshore support vessel underway in waters offshore Brass, Nigeria.

A report by EOS Risk Group stated that there were six pirates in each speed boat and that the OSV vessel was Panama-flagged diving support vessel E. FRANCIS.

The Captain immediately notified the naval escort security boat which maneuvered to engage the attackers. One speed boat closed in from port side of the vessel and crossed the bow, while the other speed boat exchanged fire with the security boat.

Alarm raised, crew proceeded to the engine room and all power was shut down. The pirates boarded the vessel with the aid of an elongated ladder. They broke into the accommodation, vandalized the cabins and took crew belongings and vessel’s properties.

The pirates then proceeded to the engine room, kidnapped five men and escaped. The remaining crews sailed the vessel under escort to a safe anchorage.

CCS also said that one Nigerian Navy armed guard was reported killed in the exchange of fire between the naval security boat and the pirates. The investigation is ongoing.

It is worth reminding that Nigeria’s Homeland recently ordered two additional offshore patrol vessels from Damen. Homeland was founded in 2006 to support international oil companies working in Nigeria’s offshore oil and gas fields by providing a wide range of services both at sea and on shore.

Nigeria’s waters are some of the most dangerous in the world when it comes to pirate attacks as pirates in Nigeria are often well armed, violent and have attacked, hijacked, and robbed vessels, and kidnapped crews along the coast, rivers, anchorages, ports and surrounding waters.

The most recent such incident reported on Offshore Energy Today was an attack and boarding of an offshore vessel by pirates in December 2018.

Offshore Energy Today Staff