Four Dead, Three Kidnapped in Nigerian Pirate Attack

The Ambika, seen here as the Galilei 2000 (undated file image courtesy Andrey Bezerra)

Published Jan 5, 2020 8:07 PM by The Maritime Executive

[Brief] International maritime security consultancy Dryad Maritime reports that the Nigerian-flagged hopper dredger Ambika was boarded by pirates after a firefight resulting in multiple loss of life. 

According to Dryad, the Ambika was attacked while operating just offshore, about three nm from the mouth of the Ramos river and about nine nm to the east of the Forcados offshore oil terminal. A firefight broke out between the embarked security team on the Ambika and the pirates. Four military armed guards were killed and two were injured, Dryad understands. 

Three foreign crewmembers (including two Russian nationals and one Indian) were abducted. Five other crewmembers were left behind.

The 1979-built hopper dredger Ambika, ex name Galilei 2000, was once part of the Jan de Nul fleet; she is now owned by a Lagos-based gas development company with operations upriver from the Ramos river entrance. As of Sunday, she was anchored near the river's mouth.

The Gulf of Guinea is the world's most dangerous region for piracy, and especially for kidnapping; 57 seafarers were kidnapped in the region in December 2019 alone.