Suspected pirates hit two PSVs off Nigeria
• EU, NATO forces thwart dhow attack off Somalia
As the Gulf of Guinea grows increasingly unsafe, two supply ships have been attacked by pirates off Nigeria.
Upstream reported Bourbon’s 1,200-dead weight Bourbon Arethuse (built 2008) was raided last Tuesday night, with an Edison Chouest-owned ship, the 3,150-dead weight C-Viking (built 2012), also targeted by the same attackers.
The International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre said of the Bourbon vessel: “Seeing the pirates, the crew raised the alarm, retreated into the citadel, alerted other vessels and shore based office by VHF and waited until the pirates had left.”
Ship equipment and crew possessions were stolen.
Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Treatry Orgaqnisation (NATO) naval forces off Somalia have prevented a dhow falling into pirates hands and becoming a potential mothership.
Pirates initially took control of the vessel in the Gulf of Aden last Wednesday morning along with her crew of 14 Indian seafarers.
But the Master of the Indian dhow had sent out an alert later that same morning, saying that she was under attack from 12 armed pirates.
Upon hearing the alert, Royal Swedish Navy warship, HSwMS Carlskrona, which is part of the EU’s counter piracy mission, Operation Atalanta, approached the dhow.
“As the helicopter from the Carlskrona overflew the scene, the pirates, now under increasing pressure from military forces, forced the Master to close the Somali coast so they could abandon the dhow in the dead of night,” EU officials said.
“Shortly afterwards, the Indian Master was able to report to the EU Naval Force that all the pirates had left his ship and that none of his crew were injured.”
NATO officials said that dhows have been used in the past as a mother ship to enable pirates to sail further out to sea to attack passing ships.
Speaking about the incident, the Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force, Rear Admiral Bob Tarrant, said: “This latest attack once again shows that the threat from piracy is real. We must all remain vigilant.”
Earlier in the week, there were several reported approaches on larger merchant vessels transiting through the Gulf of Aden.
However, there have been no attacks where skiffs have either fired upon merchant vessels or attempted to board the ships.
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