Saturday, 15 February 2020

Container ship MAERSK TEMA attacked, Gulf of Guinea

1230 UTC UPDATE: Confirmed attacked ship is container ship MAERSK TEMA, reportedly at least two pirates managed to board her, crew said to shelter in citadel, the ship is adrift since time of attack, with AIS on and no navy or security ships/boats seen around.

Awaiting updates.
1030 UTC Feb 14: Cargo ship was attacked in Gulf of Guinea 110 nm NW of Sao Tome, at 0812 UTC Feb 14. It’s most probably, container ship MAERSK TEMA, en route from Pointe Noire Congo to Lagos Nigeria. She went NUC after attack, drifting, AIS is on.

Container ship MAERSK TEMA, IMO 9698264, dwt 65163, capacity 5466 TEU, built 2015, flag Marshall Islands, manager BERNHARD SCHULTE GMBH & CO KG.

Cargo ship was attacked in Gulf of Guinea in the morning Feb 14, name not revealed, but according to available information, it’s a 5,500 TEU container ship, she was attacked being under way. Awaiting ship’s ID confirmation, and more details.

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My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.

Maritime and Crimean Shipping News, February 14, 2020

As the number of crew members kidnapped by pirates worldwide decreased, the number reported in the Gulf of Guinea increased from 78 in 2018 to 121 in 2019.

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA – From January to September last year, 82% of maritime kidnappings in the world occurred in the Gulf of Guinea, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB). 
To the very complex problems associated with piracy allow me to suggest the following solutions, we have the classic Block 1B Mk-15 Phalanx Surface Mode 20mm Gatling gun solution firing 3600-4500 rounds per minute, it will sink a small vessel in one firing sequence.
(Maritime industry leader comments during a private panel discussion)
When will the international shipping community say “enough is enough” and force a change? The fact that shipping lines are even able to crew vessels in the Gulf of Guinea says more about the desperation of the crews for jobs than the readiness of the companies to handle attacks by pirates. Especially given recent reports that pirates are no longer after cargos or ships but rather hostages.
“The approach of the pirates has changed: instead of three seamen, they take the whole crew with them. Hostages for money.”
Wolf Kinzel, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP
Today there has been yet another pirate attack in the Gulf of Guinea. The Maersk Tema container vessel was reportedly attacked and boarded by pirates around 170 miles off coast of Nigeria
Dryad Global is reporting that 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.
Pirates have shown a capability and intent to attack large vessels underway indicating a high degree of confidence and capability
Dryad Global
How long will the global shipping community tolerate these unrelenting attacks on commerce and maritime safety in the Gulf of Guinea? While the politicians of the world try to sort out the difficult underlying causes of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, many are starting to clamour for arming the cargo ships as they transit the region. Guns, not hugs, are the answer for now.

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