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West Africa Maritime Security Warning

December 18, 2020 - 10:19:27 UTC

West Africa Maritime Security Warning

OVER the period of the last five or six weeks, piracy-related maritime incidents in the Gulf of Guinea have seen a concerning rise with approximately 27 instances of vessel crew being kidnapped.

The estimated total of seafarers abducted has now reached 138 within the Gulf of Guinea High Risk Area in 2020.

In December 2020 alone there has been nine incidents reported from an overall total of 27 incidents.

Recent activity in the Gulf of Guinea has seen pirates utilising two speedboats to make their approach, attach and boarding of merchant vessels. In one case, a suspected mother vessel was sighted. This could be given credence by the fact the speedboats are operating at distances beyond 100 nautical miles from shore.

The Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade for the Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GOG), is a Franco-British virtual reporting mechanism which was established in support of the Yaounde Process in June 2016, has recently been informed of a HIGH RISK maritime incident likely to occur in the coming days or weeks in areas, designated under ECOWAS and ECCAS, as F/E/D.
Countries affected:


F - Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d' Ivoire, Ghana

E - Togo, Benin, Nigeria

ECCAS Areas:

D - Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome & Principe, Gabon (See image below)

GOG Maritime Zones Source: How We Made It In Africa

(Source: How We Made It In Africa) 

MDAT highly recommends that Masters, the seafarer community, and ships transiting these area to "exercise a sharp lookout" and apply Best Management practice West Africa (BMP WA) procedures.

The basis of the information is stated as coming from "reliable sources", which are unnamed, however, with the increased risk to vessels and seafarers reaching a critical stage, it is imperative that the information is taken as a grave reminder of the dangers when operating in the GoG.

Vessels are further advised when operating in the region to maintain the highest level of vigilance along with the guidance in BMP WA, and to report any suspicious activity or attack to MDAT-GOG, and the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) wherever possible.

MDAT Contact:
Email: watchkeepers@mdat-gog.org;
Phone: +33 298228888

IMB Contact:
Email: imbkl@icc-ccs.org / piracy@icc-ccs.org;
24 Hours Anti Piracy HELPLINE Tel: + 60 3 2031 0014


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Information, Security, Safety; Shared

Submitted by Team@oceanuslive.org

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