52 incidents of pirates attacks offshore Nigeria recorded in 2016

PHOTO: VesselFinder

The Gulf of Guinea definitely remains one of the most dangerous waters in the world for merchant shipping, as the latest report by EOS Risk Group stated that pirate’s incidents rose to 52 attacks last year.

Although some other reports showed that the security situation in the coast improved early this year, EOS reports showed that the Nigerian Navy needs to beef up security to further protect crews sailing through Nigerian waters.

This is coming as President Muhammadu Buhari directed the officers and men of the Nigerian Navy, to continue to work hard to ensure safety on the nation’s waterways. He said it was important for them to ensure safety so that legitimate economic activities could hold on the waterways, therefore making the country to prosper.

The info graphics obtained by The Guardian showed that attacks were higher early 2016, but reduced drastically towards the last quarter of the year.

“Pirates from the Niger Delta have been responsible for attacking commercial vessels throughout the wider region, conducting armed robberies, stealing oil and abducting crew for ransom,” EOS Risk Group said.

The report noted that throughout the year, the pirate groups stopped hijacking tankers for product theft and have started to kidnap crew for ransom.

“At least 52 Nigerian pirate attacks occurred in 2016. The majority of attacks off Nigeria in 2016 involved oil/chemical tankers, followed by offshore support vessels. Bulk carriers, containerships, general cargo vessels, LNG tankers, fishing vessels, a refrigerated cargo vessel, a dredger and a vehicle carrier were also subjected to attacks during the year, according to the group,” the group said.

Target vessels were mostly tankers, which recorded 48 per cent of the attacks; OSV recorded 21; Containership four per cent while Liquefied Natural Gas vessels had four per cent of the attacks.

It indicated that about 21 per cent cases had armed security presence onboard when attacked, while they were absent in 69 cases, and five cases were unknown.

Besides, it stated that there was 52 per cent success rate of pirates boarding vessels, while 37 per cent cases showed that the entire crew successfully used the ships citadel to protect themselves following pirates boarding.

According to the report, 45 days was the longest time hostages spent in captivity, with minimum of 15 days. Panama vessels were mostly attacked during the period, followed by Liberia, Nigeria, Marshall Island, Singapore, Bahamas, Malta, Germany and a host of others.

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EOS Risk GroupNigerian Navy
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