Gulf of Guinea Sees 2014’s First Piracy Act

The January 2nd boarding as seen
The January 2nd boarding as reported on IMB’s 2014 Live Piracy Map.

Pirates in the Gulf of Guinea on Thursday unsuccessfully boarded an LPG tanker off Gabon marking 2014’s first piracy-related incident worldwide.

The International Maritime Bureau reported Friday that fives pirates boarded a drifting gas carrier on January 2 about 55 nautical miles west of Corisco Island, Gabon. Pirates escaped the vessel after the crew raised the alarm and blew the ships horn, the IMB report says, adding that the Master also reported a few tugs and unlit fishing vessel without AIS in the vicinity.

The boarding marks the first piracy incident recorded worldwide in 2014, according to IMB data.

In 2013, IMB recorded a total of 234 reported incidents worldwide, including 12 hijackings. Of those, 30 were Nigeria related and included two hijackings, while just thirteen were Somali related, according to IMB data. Somalia also saw two hijackings in 2013, the data shows.

IMB still lists coastal areas of Nigeria, Benin, Togo and the Ivory Coast as areas prone to piracy incidents.