The manager of the containership MV Mozart has expressed condolences after the death of a crew member during a violent pirate attack in the Gulf of Guinea on Saturday.
Fifteen others were kidnapped in the incident as the armed pirates apparently gained access to the ship’s citadel, a type of safe room, possibly through the use of explosives.
“Borealis Maritime would like to express their deepest condolences to the family of the seafarer on board of their managed container ship Mozart who has tragically died following an attack by pirates on the vessel in the Gulf of Guinea on Saturday January 23. The company’s thoughts are with the next of kin of the deceased seafarer and with the families of the other crew of the vessel of which 15 have been kidnapped by the attackers,” Borealis said in a statement.
The MV Mozart was attacked as it was underway some 100 nautical miles off the coast of Sao Tome while en route from Lagos, Nigeria to Cape Town, South Africa. Three crew members were left on board the vessel and subsequently sailed it into Gabon waters on Sunday, where authorities attended the ship.
“Borealis Maritime are offering their full support to the vessel’s technical managers Boden Denizcilik who together with authorities and professional advisors are currently working to establish contact with the missing crew and the kidnappers in order to secure their earliest and safe release,” Borealis’ statement continued.
“Borealis Maritime are deeply shocked by the brutal attack on the seafarers of Mozart who have been exposed to this unparalleled violence and call for the immediate release of the 15 crew members,” it added.
The MV Mozart is a 2,824 TEU containership registered in Liberia and built in 2007.
The incident comes as piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has surged in recent years, hitting a 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 becoming increasingly violent and occurring farther from shore, highlighting the increasing capabilities of armed pirates gangs.