M/V Mozart, a Liberian-flagged vessel, was sailing from Lagos, Nigeria to South Africa when it was attacked by armed pirates.
According to the reports, fifteen seafarers of the Turkish cargo ship have been kidnapped and one crew member has been killed. The victim has been identified as an engineer from Azerbaijan, the only non-Turkish crew member.
The incident took place about 100 nautical miles northwest of Sao Tome and Principe.
Turkey’s Maritime Directorate stated that the crew initially locked themselves in a safe area as the pirates disabled most of the ship’s system. However, the pirates forced entered after six hours and left the ship in the Gulf of Guinea after kidnapping most of the crew. 3 crew members have left onboard the Mozart.
According to Dryad, this incident is an exceptional incident for both its severity and distance from shore. This is the furthers offshore incident recorded in West Africa. This the 5th offshore incident the GoG HRA this year.
Total incidents throughout West Africa in 2020 showed a partial increase of 12% on those of 2019. Incidents of boardings increased to 18 in 2020 from 13 in 2019.
Vessels are advised to operate within this area at a heightened posture maintaining the highest levels of vigilance whilst implementing full hardening/mitigation in accordance with BMP West Africa where possible. In addition, the IMB advises that vessels remain at least 200nm-250nm offshore where possible.
Source : Dryad, TribuneIndia