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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Gulf of Guinea Pirates: Ship's Captain and Officer Killed

IMB Map of attack area
Two dead crew in a reported pirate attack off Nigeria on Monday, as set out in Ship's Captain Killed in Pirate Attack off Nigerian Coast
Pirates attacked a cargo ship 110 nautical miles off the Nigerian coast in the Gulf of Guinea this morning killing the ship's captain and another officer, the International Maritime Office reports. Two other reports of piracy were reported in past few days without causing casualties or taking over any ships. The first incident took place on Saturday about 80 nautical miles off Lagos and the second took place off the coast of Benin, which borders Nigeria. Shipping companies raised the threat level last August, and with it the value of ships' cargos to pirates, for vessels transiting the Gulf of Guinea, bringing them up to the level of ships traveling near Somalia.
More detail here:
Cyrus Mody, a manager at the IMB, said the vessel's captain and chief engineer "were killed in the shooting." . . . The group [IMB} believes the attackers were "Nigerian pirates" said Noel Choong, head of the IMB's Kuala Lumpur-based piracy reporting centre. *** Unlike the explosion of piracy off the coast of Somalia on the eastern side of the continent in recent years, those involved in the recent west African attacks have so far not appeared to be after ransom payments.

Fuel or oil cargo has been stolen for sale on the region's lucrative black market, while robberies have also occurred. Crew members have been beaten and the pirates tend to be heavily armed.

The theft of such cargo tends to be relatively sophisticated, with tankers often being directed to another pirate-controlled ship, where the fuel is transferred and then taken elsewhere for sale.
IMB Map of other Gulf of Guinea 2012 attacks
From the IMB Live Piracy Report site:
Around 110nm south of Lagos, Nigeria.

Armed pirates chased and fired upon a drifting bulk carrier. Vessel raised alarm and headed towards Lagos. All crew except the bridge team took shelter in the citadel. Due to the continuous firing the Captain and the C/E were shot. The IMB Piracy Reporting Center immediately informed the Nigerian authorities who sent out a rescue team. Due to rough seas the Nigerian naval team could not reach the location. A French Warship in the area which received the warning broadcast went to the aid of the distress vessel and despatched a helicopter. A boarding team boarded the vessel and escorted the vessel to Lagos port. The vessel is presently at Inner anchorage Lagos port. The authorities boarded the vessel and a medical team gave medical assistance to the crew. Later all crew members and the two bodies were taken ashore.


  1. Gary Stringer11:31 AM

    The Gulf of Guinea is becoming as dangerous as Somalia! An attack occurred off the Coast of Benin last thursday, a cargo ship was attacked 80 miles from Lagos on saturday and the Togolese Navy had to stop an attack on an oil tanker in nearby waters on monday. It's getting out of hand and many African governments seem disinterested in the matter

  2. Agree this is becoming very nasty indeed. Although ships may comply with all the BMP anti-piracy measures there is great difficulty with Nigeria and the provision of armed guards onboard - they prohibit it. The Nigerian Navy, the best equipped in west Africa seems impotent to tackle these serious issues. While hull/cargo insurance is not the same issue it is off Somalia the immediate danger to the lives individuals is somewhat greater.

  3. Gary Stringer6:26 AM

    You're right about the Nigerian Navy and the intervention by the Togolose Navy shows the difference that can be made if the African Navies are interested in making a change. Couldn't agree more with your point on the threat to individuals, in the Gulf of Guinea they seem to kill without a second thought whereas Somali pirates want the crew alive to use as hostages

  4. Gary Stringer9:52 AM

    Has there been any more information released on this? Did they catch the pirates responsible and prosecute, i doubt it but I couldn't find anything about it online...