Pirates Attack LNG Carrier in Gulf of Guinea


Published Nov 12, 2018 6:46 PM by The Maritime Executive

On November 6, pirates pursued and fired on an unnamed LNG tanker in the Gulf of Guinea. 

At about 0600 hours UTC, nine pirates in a speedboat approached the vessel at a position about 30 nm southwest of Bonny, Nigeria, an oil and gas production hub in the Niger River Delta. The attackers opened fire on the vessel and made several attempts to get close, but the master sped up and took evasive maneuvers. The pirates ultimately abandoned the attack and departed. 

According to maritime security firm AKE, LNG carriers' double-walled, insulated tanks are not vulnerable to small arms fire. The ICC IMB reports that the vessel and crew are safe. 

Piracy is unfortunately common in the Gulf of Guinea, especially off the coast of the Niger River Delta. Kidnap-for-ransom is the most common type of attack, and according to Oceans Beyond Piracy, 100 seafarers were kidnapped in the waters off the Gulf of Guinea last year.

Last month, pirates abducted 11 crewmembers from the container ship Pomerania Sky as she was headed for the port of Onne, Nigeria. Those abducted included eight from Poland, two Filipinos and a Ukrainian. Nine crew members remained on board the vessel and brought her safely into port. 

In September, pirates kidnapped 12 crewmembers from the Swiss bulk carrier Glarus in Nigerian waters. The vessel was carrying wheat between Lagos and Port Harcourt in the Niger Delta, and the attack happened about 45 nm southwest of Bonny Island. The pirates reportedly used long ladders and cut the razor wire on deck to gain access to the vessel.