According to the ICC IMB's
Piracy Report, Nigerian pirates kidnapped five crewmembers from an OSV in
the Gulf of Guinea last weekend despite the efforts of a security escort
After an active firefight between the
escort and the attackers, pirates boarded the target vessel, ransacked its
cabins and made off with the victims.
At about 1115 hours UTC on
Saturday, at a position about 30 nm off Brass, Nigeria, armed pirates in two
speed boats approached an OSV under way. The OSV's captain called for help from
what IMB ICC described as a "naval escort security boat," which
maneuvered to engage the attackers. One speed boat closed in from port side of
the vessel and crossed the bow, while the other speed boat exchanged fire with
the security boat.
“Alarm was raised and the
crew went to the engine room, while all power was shut down. The pirates
boarded the vessel with the aid of an elongated ladder and broke into the
accommodation, vandalized the cabins and took crew belongings and vessel’s
properties,” IMB Piracy Reporting Centre said in a note it issued on Wednesday.
It said the attackers thereafter proceeded to the engine room of
the vessel, kidnapped five men and escaped, while the remaining crew members
sailed the vessel under escort to a safe anchorage.
forbids the presence of embarked private maritime security contractors at its
seaports. This effectively prohibits Gulf of Guinea vessel operators from using
on-board armed guards, which have proven successful in deterring pirates
in the high-risk area off Somalia. Instead, Nigeria permits private
contractors to provide for-hire Security Escort Vessel (SEV)
services using civilian boats and armed Nigerian Navy active duty
servicemembers. According to one well-regarded security services firm, this
system has historically been challenged by "extremely high costs and
issues of poor performance and reliability."