CMA CGM-Chartered Ship Attacked off Nigeria
The Ghana-based anti-piracy agency Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre (MTISC-GOG) has reported that a second pirate attack occurred in the Gulf of Guinea on April 11, the day of the hijacking of the product tanker Puli.
The chartered 4,300 TEU containership CMA CGM Turquoise, under way from Lagos, Nigeria to Douala, Cameroon was boarded in waters about 30 nm off the coast of the Niger Delta. The captain activated the SSAS and the crew retreated to the citadel, but two were captured and kidnapped before they could enter.
World Maritime News and France's Le Marin reported the identity of the vessel as the Turquoise, based on communications with the ship's owner and manager Dioryx Maritime, and with MTISC-GOG and U.K.-based security firm Clearwater.
CMA CGM emphasized that it does not own the Turquoise, and provided the following statement from Dioryx:
Dioryx Maritime Corporation (Dioryx) confirm that their managed vessel CMA CGM TURQUOISE was attacked by pirates off the coast of Nigeria at position 04 08.01’N 005 23.05’E on April 11 at 19:56 hours UTC. We immediately mobilized our Crisis Response Team (CRT) which continuously tried to re-establish contact with the Master and crew. The CRT was also in constant communication with the vessel’s Flag Administration and all the Maritime Rescue Centres as well as the local state authorities. Simultaneously, a line of communication and cooperation was established with the charterers CMA CGM who rendered their full support and assistance. The families of the crew members were informed and are being kept continuously posted.
On April 12 at 08:35 communication with the Master was re-established. The crew members were counted and all of them were found to be safe except for the Second Officer and the Electrician who were reported as missing. At this stage, their whereabouts is not known and everything is being done, in conjunction with the appropriate authorities, the relative foreign ministries, and specialist advisers, to ascertain where they are. Up until now, there has been nothing to indicate that either of the men has been injured or harmed.
The Nigerian Navy is reportedly searching for the kidnapped crewmembers.
As of Wednesday, the Turquoise's track showed her approaching Douala; MTISC-GOG said in an emailed statement Thursday that she had arrived safely in port, but had no updates regarding the kidnapped crew.