M/V Rowayton Eagle. Photo: MarineTraffic.com/John Pegden

Eagle Bulk Ship Escapes Pirate Attack in Gulf of Guinea

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 5328
February 1, 2021

A bulk carrier belonging to NASDAQ-listed Eagle Bulk Shipping is reported safe and its crew unharmed after a pirate attack in the Gulf of Guinea.

The incident was confirmed Monday by Eagle Bulk Shipping in a tweet informing that its owned Ultramax bulker carrier Rowayton Eagle was hijacked about 240 miles southeast of Lagos, Nigeria. The company also hailed the ship’s Captain for his leadership throughout the ordeal.

“We are very pleased to report that the incident has been resolved and our crew are safe and unharmed, and the vessel is fully operational… Our profound thanks to Captain Gopich for his leadership and the professionalism and courage of the entire crew throughout this ordeal.”

The incident was first reported by maritime security firm Dryad Global, which reported that the MV Rowayton Eagle was boarded by pirates off the coast of Accra, Ghana. The crew mustered in the ship’s citadel and were unharmed in the incident. The pirates eventually left after having failed to breach the citadel, Dryad reported. The company said automatic identification system (AIS) data showed the ship had been drifting since January 27.

The incident comes after a violent and deadly pirate attack on board the MV Mozart off the coast of Sao Tome on January 23rd. In that incident, one crew member was shot dead and fifteen were abducted after pirates breached the ship’s citadel, a form of safe room on board the vessel. The owner of the Mozart has since been in contact with the kidnapped crew members and reports that they are uninjured as the company works to secure their release.

The two incidents are the latest to highlight the recent surge of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, which hit a record in 2020 with 130 crew kidnappings in 22 separate incidents, according to the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre. Also concerning is the fact that attacks are increasingly violent and occurring farther from shore, highlighting the increasing capabilities of armed pirate gangs in the region. 

Dryad reports that the attack on the Rowayton Eagle marks the seventh offshore incident and third recorded offshore boarding so far this year.

The MV Rowayton Eagle is a 63,301 DWT bulk carrier built in 2013 and registered in the Marshall Islands.

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