Pirates attack Maersk containership in Niger Delta

Pirates kidnap 20 Indians, spare Nigerian seafarer off Togo


Pirates in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region today attacked a container vessel named Maersk Tema 200 nautical miles South West Bonny while the vessel was underway from Point Noir to Lagos.

According to Dryad Global, this incident is coming barely two months after a bulk carrier, Vinalines Mighty was attacked and boarded by three pirates 40 nautical miles off Bonny on December 31, 2019.

Report indicates that the container vessel, MAERSK TEMA while underway from Pointe Noir to Lagos, is currently under attack at 90 nautical miles, North West Sao Tome. “Two unknown men are believed to have boarded the vessel and two skiffs were seen in the vicinity of the attack. Further reporting suggests that the crew members have reached the citadel.

“The vessel is currently drifting 200 nautical miles, South West Bonny and 40 nautical miles, South East of the Eastern fringe of the Nigerian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

“This latest incident sits 40 nautical miles South East of a boarding incident which occured on the 31 of Dec 2019 where the Bulk carrier VINALINES MIGHTY was boarded by three pirates.

“This latest incident is the 5th incident to occur within the Nigeria – Sao Tome JDZ since November 2019.

“It is assessed that after a brief hiatus, pirates have returned to an area that saw considerable success within 2019.

Pirates operating within this area are assessed to be seeking to exploit the relative lack of established security presence in the waters beyond the Nigerian EEZ.

“Pirates have shown a capability and intent to attack large vessels underway, indicating a high degree of confidence and capability. It is assessed as highly likely that pirates operating within this area have originated from within Nigeria and are likely to do so with support from a larger vessel.

“The conduct of deep offshore pirate operations beyond the Nigerian Exclusive Economic Zone was a significant feature of West African piracy throughout 2019,” Dryad Global said.