Two recent attacks in the Gulf of Guinea have highlighted the value of prepared crews and the correct implementation of anti-piracy measures. Last night pirates attacked a laden product tanker while it was en route to Port Harcourt in Nigeria and, on 9 August, a tanker was attacked 200 NM south of Lagos. In both cases, the crew prevented the boarding by effective anti-piracy measures. The most recent incident off Brass, Nigeria, also highlighted the value of good communication. The Master of the vessel issued a timely alert on VHF and GMDSS. This was relayed to MTISC GoG, retransmitted by adjacent vessels and when it reached Dryad, we quickly passed on the information to the IMB PRC, who subsequently contacted authorities and issued an alert. AIS analysis shows that Nigerian naval vessels were operating within 30 nautical miles of the incident and, although not required in the case, could have been on the scene quickly to assist.
However, in a recent post transit report from one of Dryad’s clients, the Master judged that only 25% of vessels were using razor wire and rigging water curtains in the Gulf of Aden. If Masters are foregoing these basic visual and physical deterrents, are they neglecting other BMP4 recommended measures? Dryad has long advised that there is a risk of complacency due to the lack of recent successful attacks and now we have evidence that it has set in, at least in the Indian Ocean.
To read the entire article, please click here.