Pirates target second tanker off Nigeria in one week

A group of armed pirates tried to board a vessel some 80 nautical miles off the coast of Brass, Nigeria, resulting in a second unsuccessful hijacking attempt on tanker vessels in a week, according to reports from ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB).

Seven pirates armed with automatic weapons in a wooden speedboat approached the drifting tanker, which was waiting for cargo loading instructions on Thursday last week.

The pirates attempted to board the tanker using an aluminum ladder but failed due to the high freeboard, ICC IMB said.

The tanker immediately proceeded towards the terminal and the terminal’s security boat escorted the vessel.

The unsuccessful attack follows another attempted boarding of a chemical tanker, which occurred some 41 nautical miles off Brass on April 1. Duty officers onboard the ship, which was underway at the time, noticed a black speed boat approaching.

Subsequently, the master raised the alarm, sent distress messages, and took anti-piracy preventive measures, while the crewmembers locked all entrance doors.

Nine pirates armed with AK47s opened fire at the tanker and attempted to board it several times using ladders and grappling hook attached with a rope.

The pirates soon aborted the attempted boarding and moved away.

There were no injuries reported to the crewmembers.

The reports come on the back of the latest kidnapping of four Malaysian crew members on April 1 while their tug was under way around 17 nautical miles off Pulau Sipadan, Sabah, Malaysia.

Eight armed pirates in a speedboat approached and boarded the tug. The pirates opened fire, stole crew personal belongings and escaped with the kidnapped crewmembers.

The local media identified the tug as MV Massive 6 and linked the attack to the Filipino Muslim militants, the Abu Sayyaf group.



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