ONGOING THREAT TO VESSELS
Event: Suspicious Approach (Level III Incident)
Date and Time: 7 December 2017 1830UTC / 1930LT
Location: 110nm S of Bonny, Nigeria (incident took place in Nigeria-Sao Tomé and Principe Joint Development Zone)
Position: 00°41.8’N, 006°03.6’E
Type: Offshore Support Vessel
Freeboard: approx. 2.5m
Description: Whilst underway towards Onne, a merchant vessel was approached by 2 skiffs, which came within 300m of her position. The vessel issued a distress call “Pirates Pirates Pirates”. The skiffs moved
away, and the vessel and crew are confirmed as safe.
Analysis: If this is a pirate group active in this area it is a significant increase in distance from previous incidents in 2017. However, no shots were reported fired and no boarding equipment was seen, and
several “maritime security” instances this year were later confirmed to be fishermen or other local craft not engaged in criminal activity.
Vessels approaching Nigeria from due south should increase security measures, and if drifting, should ensure they are at least 200nm from the coast of Nigeria.
ARC will update should more information be received.