New Boarding as Dryad Warns of Potential Activity in Gulf of Guinea
Another product tanker was approached and boarded in the Gulf of Guinea. Safety services are reporting an overall increase of activity in the region and increasing their warnings over potential additional activity during the remainder of the year.
Dryad Global is reporting that the 10,000 dwt product tanker Nafeli II, operated by the World Carrier Corp. of Greece, was boarded off the coast of Nigeria, approximately 94 nautical miles southwest of the port of Brass. The Panama-flagged tanker built in 2003, operates with a crew of up to 23 people.
The vessel activated her SSAS emergency alert system and the crew consisting of Georgian, Russian, and Ukrainian seafarers reportedly retreated to the safe area. The boarders left the vessel and the crew was later reported safe.
While the crew was unharmed, Dryad reports that it was the fourteenth such incident in the area this year. The total number of vessels illegally boarded in 2020 in the area of West Africa has now reached 58, which, according to Dryad is tracking slightly above trend when compared to 2019.
Dryad is also cautioning that the rate of incidents increases at the end of the monsoon season in the region. They are warning of a historical trend toward a sharp increase in activity during the later part of the year.
Reviewing the total number of incidents during the first nine months of the year, a report issued by the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) also highlighted a dramatic increase of activity off West Africa. According to the IMB’s data, there was a 40 percent increase in the number of kidnappings reported in the Gulf of Guinea, compared with the same period in 2019. Pirates armed with guns and knives they warned are abducting bigger groups of seafarers at further distances off the West African coast.