COPENHAGEN, March 28 (Reuters) – Pirates have attacked and boarded a Danish-owned ship in the Gulf of Guinea and all communications channels with the vessel are down, a spokesperson for shipping company Monjasa said on Tuesday.
All 16 crew members sought refuge in a safe room onboard the Monjasa Reformer vessel, the spokesperson said.
The Liberian-flagged oil and chemical tanker, which was sitting idle, was attacked on Saturday about 140 miles west of the Republic of Congo’s Port Pointe-Noire.
The vessel is operated by Dubai-based Montec Ship Management, which is owned by Monjasa.
Montec reported the incident to a maritime cooperation center operated by the British and French navies to maintain safety in the Gulf of Guinea.
The operator is working with all relevant maritime authorities in the region, including several navies, according to Monjasa.
The Gulf of Guinea has become a global piracy hotspot in recent years although cases have fallen there since 2021 as national authorities stepped up security efforts aided by foreign naval ships, according to the U.N. Security Council.
Denmark, which has big commercial shipping interests, deployed a frigate to the gulf in 2021 to protect shipping, but the frigate was pulled back last year after the outbreak of the Ukraine war.
(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Louise Rasmussen, editing by Terje Solsvik and Angus MacSwan)
(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.
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