Seafarers continue to risk armed robbers and pirates in West African waters, as illustrated in a recent incident reported to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) worldwide Piracy Reporting Centre.
Six robbers armed with guns boarded a containership anchored at Conakry, Guinea on 21 September and opened fire on the duty crew. The master activated the security alert, raised the alarm and locked the accommodation. However, the robbers broke the bridge wing windows, got into the ship and took the crew hostage. They then ransacked and looted every crew cabin, stole crew personal belongings and ship’s cash, and escaped. The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre liaised with the Guinea Navy who responded and boarded the ship. All crew were reported safe.
Further reports to the IMB from around the world included the following incidents.
- Duty crew on board a bulk carrier carrying out cargo operations at Chittagong, Bangladesh on 14 September spotted that a store room had been broken into. A search revealed that a mooring group had stolen ship’s property. The robbers were apprehended and disembarked, and all stolen property recovered.
- Five masked robbers armed with long knives boarded a bulk carrier during cargo operations at Dumai, Indonesia on 14 September. Two engineers were taken hostage and tied up, and the robbers escaped with stolen spares.
- Four robbers armed with knives boarded a tanker anchored at Dumai, Indonesia on 8 September and entered the engine room. The alarm was raised and all crew mustered. The robbers escaped with ship’s spares.
- Three robbers in a canoe approached an offshore tug anchored at Takoradi, Ghana on 1 September. One robber boarded and was detected by the CCTV, which triggered the alarm. The robber escaped with stolen ship’s property.