Piracy Nigeria experience fall in marine attacks

Nigerian authorities have woken up to the importance of maintaining a secured waterways as the attacks on voyagers went on the increase

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A statement by the International Maritime Bureau suggests a reduction in the rate of piracy in the country, making comparison of statistics from year 2014, which saw 18 pirate attacks, and in 2014 with 14 attacks.

It said that five locations recorded 71 per cent of the world’s 246 attacks in the period under review. They include Indonesia with 108 attacks; Vietnam, 27; Nigeria, 14; leaving Malaysia and India to tie with 13.

According to the report, “In Nigeria, on the whole, there were nine actual attacks in which eight ships were boarded and one hijacked. There were also five attempted attacks on vessels.

“The status of the ships at the time included two, which were berthed, three were anchored and four, steaming.”

"Pirates and robbers are often well armed, violent and have attacked, hijacked and robbed vessels, kidnapped crew along the coasts, rivers, anchorages, ports and surrounding waters.

READ: Security agencies to tackle piracy, militancy

“In many past incidents, pirates had hijacked the vessels for several days, ransacked them and stolen part of the cargo, usually gas oil. A number of crew members were also injured and attacked in times past. Generally, all waters in and off Nigeria remain risky. Vessels are advised to be vigilant as many attacks have gone unreported.”

One of the incidents listed was the Cook Island Product Tanker, which was hijacked off Bayelsa in January 2015.

“Around 10 pirates armed with AK47 rifles attacked and boarded the tanker, hijacking it and taking hostage all nine crew members. The fuel cargo in the hijacked vessel was transferred onto another vessel. The crew was however saved by the Ghanaian Navy who had dispatched a team to investigate when the vessel moved into its waters

“Two pirate attacks occurred in March; a Belize supply ship attacked and boarded by pirates while anchored at Kwa Ibo. Two crew members were kidnapped and the ship’s properties stolen. The Nigerian Navy sent a dispatch patrol 15 minutes after the distress call,” the report said.

Nigerian authorities have woken up to the importance of maintaining a secured waterways as the attacks on voyagers went on the increase.

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