Pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, July 2013

Source: Office of Naval Intelligence (unclassified)

19 July: The Vanuatu-flagged offshore supply vessel C Viking (2197 GT) was boarded at the Usari Oil Field off the coast of Nigeria. Pirates looted the vessel and destroyed equipment on the bridge before disembarking.

18 July: The United States-flagged bulk carrier Liberty Grace (28836 GT) experienced an attempted boarding attempt in the Lome anchorage area off the coast of Togo. The crew of the bulk carrier used a spotlight, fire hoses and flares to repel the boarding attempt. A patrol boat from the Togo Navy arrived after the incident.

16 July: The Marshall Islands-flagged tanker Ocean Centurion (23328 GT) was hijacked at 05:29N – 001:38 E, approximately 46nm southeast of Lome, Togo. Armed pirates in 2 speed boats approached, boarded and hijacked the tanker while underway. They took hostage all the crew members, looted personal belongings, and ordered the Master to steer towards the Togo/Benin border. The pirates disembarked and escaped via speedboat, 12nm from the coastline. Two crew members were injured during the hijacking and were transferred ashore for medical treatment. A patrol boat from the Togo Navy arrived after the incident.

15 July: The Malta-flagged chemical tanker Cotton (23248 GT) was hijacked at 00:26 S – 008:51 E, approximately 13nm off Port Gentil, Gabon while underway. Approximately 25 gunmen armed with AK-47 assault rifles hijacked the tanker and took its crew hostage. The vessel was released, with all crew safe, on 22 July.

14 July: The Gabon-flagged landing craft Renovation (940 GT) was boarded while underway off Port Gentil, Gabon. Approximately 20 gunmen boarded the landing craft, looted the crew’s personal possessions and escaped.

10 July: An anchored chemical tanker experienced a suspicious approach at 06:17 N, – 003:21 E, approximately 5.4nm southwest of Fairway Buoy, Lagos. The tanker’s armed security team fired one warning shot when the small boat came within 50m of the vessel, causing the boat to depart the area.

7 July: Gunmen boarded a supply vessel at 04:24 N – 007:03 E, in the vicinity of the New Calabar River, Nigeria while the vessel was underway. The captain, chief engineer and a deckhand were reported to have been taken hostage.

5 July: An anchored bulk carrier was boarded at 06:26 N – 003:23 E at Lagos, Nigeria. Armed men were spotted by the boatswain who alerted the duty officer. The boatswain was wounded by gunfire before other crew members came to his assistance. The gunmen escaped by speedboat. The injured crew member was hospitalized for treatment.

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