Another brazen attack off Nigeria as pirates board and kidnap two crew members from a containership underway.
The ship has been identified as the Liberian-flagged CMA CGM Turquoise, a 4,360 TEU containership chartered by French shipping company CMA CGM.
The International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Center confirmed the attack and kidnappings, reporting that on April 11 armed pirates boarded a container ship underway approximately 30 nautical miles southwest of Bayelsa Coast, Nigeria. Master raised the alarm, activated SSAS and all crew members, except two crew, mustered in the citadel, the report said. After about 12 hours, the crew emerged from the citadel and discovered that the two crew had been kidnapped.
All other crew are safe and the Nigerian navy boarded the vessel for investigations, the IMB report said.
The manager of the vessel confirmed the incident in a statement provided to gCaptain:
Dioryx Maritime Corporation confirm that their managed vessel CMA CGM TURQUOISE was attacked by pirates off the coast of Nigeria at position 04 08.01’N 005 23.05’E on 11th April 2016 at 19:56 hours UTC. We immediately mobilized our Crisis Response Team (CRT) which continuously tried to re-establish contact with the Master and crew. The CRT was also in constant communication with the vessel’s Flag Administration and all the Maritime Rescue Centres as well as the local state authorities. Simultaneously, a line of communication and cooperation was established with the charterers CMA CGM who rendered their full support and assistance. The families of the crew members were informed and are being kept continuously posted.
On 12th April 2016 at 08:35 UTC communication with the Master was re-established. The crew members were counted and all of them were found to be safe except for the Second Officer and the Electrician who were reported as missing. At this stage, their whereabouts is not known and everything is being done, in conjunction with the appropriate authorities, the relative foreign ministries, and specialist advisers, to ascertain where they are. Up until now, there has been nothing to indicate that either of the men has been injured or harmed.
The CMA CGM TURQUOISE is not owned by CMA CGM, as has been erroneously reported in some media outlets, but CMA CMG are in fact the charterers.
Dioryx is totally committed to reuniting the missing crew members safely to their families.
The incident occurred on the same day that pirates kidnapped six crew members from the tanker “Puli” more than 100 miles from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
While piracy and maritime crime has been on a decline in most regions of world, the Gulf of Guinea saw a surge of pirate-related activity in the first three months of 2016 with 23 crew members kidnapped for ransom, according to the latest figures from the maritime intelligence firm Dryad Maritime.
“Kidnap of crew for ransom off the Niger Delta continues with the criminals growing in confidence and operating with impunity as they take crew members from ships in the region from under the noses of naval forces who have neither the resources nor the capability to routinely deter the criminals’ actions outside of their territorial waters. More optimistically, however, the complex and logistically difficult product tanker hijack has unsuccessfully reared its head, thanks to the actions of the Nigerian Navy who managed to thwart such an operation in February,” said Ian Millan, Dryad’s Chief Operating Officer.