The vessel is understood to have a crew of 23 personnel including Russian, Romanian, and Filipino nationals
Continuing an alarming trend of crew kidnappings in Gulf of Guinea, a total of four crew were kidnapped from the oil chemical tanker MV AGISILAOS, when it was boarded 75 nm off South Lome.
AIS data showed the vessel changed direction to the starboard at the time of the incident and dramatically reduced speed, conducting evasive manoeuvres to avoid boarding. The vessel is now reportedly safe, while local authorities have been notified.
An increasing trend of vessel attacks and crew kidnappings in the region has raised the Gulf of Guinea HRA to a critical risk rating.
Last week, pirates attacked the general cargo vessel MILAN in the Gulf of Guinea, about 14nm NNM of the Pennington Terminal, kidnapping 10 crewmembers. This follows another incident on November 17, when three crew aboard a bunkering vessel were kidnapped, some 22nm north-east of the MV AGISILAOS incident.
While the design of this vessel does not signal any overarching vulnerabilities, this incident highlights the desperation of perpetrators in the region. Counter-piracy operations and logistical strains mean larger vessels may be targeted should attacks targeting smaller vessels with vulnerable characteristics be unsuccessful. Further attacks on vessels underway are highly likely, and vessels are advised to exercise heightened caution within and on approach to the Gulf of Guinea HRA,
V.Ships Ship Management (India) PvT Ltd., managers of the oil/chemical product tanker “DUKE” confirm that following the attack by pirates 110 miles off Benin on December 15, a Togo naval patrol boat has made contact with the vessel. A further tug with new sea-staff, including a Master, is proceeding to the MV DUKE with a Naval escort, to resume command of the Marshal Island flag tanker.
It is also confirmed that 20 crew members, all Indian nationals, were abducted from the vessel, leaving one Nigerian cadet on- board.
IMRRA, FleetMon’s official Vessel
Families of those kidnapped are being informed of the situation.
No operational details will be provided going- forward that might jeopardise the safety and safe return of those being held
IMRRA, FleetMon’s official Vessel Risk Rating Partner, risk assessed this tanker as having a GREEN risk rating, with a specific risk rating of 34% (14-NOV-19), compared to the fleet average 35%. New risk assessment reports can be purchased via FleetMon.
Red: Poorest performing; Amber: Average value; Green: Good indicator.