ONGOING THREAT TO VESSELS
Event: Sighting of Suspicious Craft
Date and Time: 25 October 2021, 0930hrs UTC
Location: 255nm S of Lomé, International Waters
Position: 01°50’N, 001°27’E
Number of Perpetrators: Not reported
Number of Craft: 1 tug
Weapons Seen: Not reported
Equipment Seen: Not reported
Description: A tug boat, described
with a white superstructure and grey hull, has been reported deep offshore in the Gulf of Guinea. The vessel reportedly has no name and is not transmitting on AIS.
ARC comment: This is following a report of a “rusty” tug seen on 19 October 2021, 15nm to the west of this position. It is likely the same vessel, with the colour
of the vessel now confirmed with supporting imagery. Vessel should steer clear of this area and report any suspicious activity to authorities.
UPDATE 1: An Italian Navy vessel intercepted and questioned the tug vessel. Vessel name is MV PLATA (IMO 7711189). Whilst the crew were cooperative during interrogation, and now has AIS switched on, vessel should been still seen as suspicious
due to possible involvement in criminal activity – either as mothership for piracy or as a support vessel for illegal STS operations.