A seafarer has died after a shoot-out in which guards on board the tanker Pyxis Delta foiled an attack at Lagos anchorage on Monday, in the first confirmed case of a crew member killed during a pirate attack on a vessel that deployed an armed team.
Pyxis Maritime has confirmed that an exchange of gunfire took place at around 0040 hrs local time as armed pirates boarded the tanker. “The security team [armed guards] on board immediately activated anti-piracy measures of resistance and the pirates escaped,” Pyxis said.
A Filipino crew member was transferred to hospital with a bullet wound, but died on arrival. However, the armed team will not have been hired from a private maritime security company, as local regulations dictate that only teams of Nigerian military personnel can bear arms on board vessels in territorial waters. The 46,616 dwt combined chemical and oil tanker arrived at Lagos anchorage on January 12 and has since discharged cargo by ship-to-ship transfers.
Pyxis Maritime, speaking for itself, International Tanker Management and the crewing agency, said the killing had left them in “deep shock” and that they had offered support and comfort to the seafarer’s family. “All sympathy and condolences are extended to them at this tragic time,” it said.
The company said it was investigating the incident and co-operating fully with all relevant authorities.