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Two Injured in Pirate Attack Off Ciudad del Carmen

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The Remas (file image courtesy Micoperi)

By The Maritime Executive 11-12-2019 05:14:00

On Monday, armed pirates boarded the Italian offshore support vessel Remas off the coast of Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico, carried out a robbery and assaulted two members of the crew. 

A group of seven or eight pirates approached the Remas in two boats as she was operating in the Campeche oil region of the Gulf of Mexico. When the pirates came on deck, crewmember Andrea Di Palma, 42, was shot in the leg, according to Italian paper Corriere de la Serre. His crewmate Vicenzo Grosso, 57, was struck in the head with a blunt object. The pirates fled within ten minutes of boarding. 

The Remas returned to port at Ciudad del Carmen, and Grosso and Di Palma were transferred to a hospital for medical care. The Mexican government's Unidad de Crisis de Exteriores (Foreign Crisis Unit) is liaising with the Italian embassy in Mexico City to coordinate the official response, according to Mexican media.  Remas is Italian-flagged and almost entirely Italian-crewed. 

Ravenna-based operator Micoperi classifies the Remas as an offshore support vessel. She is purpose-built for diving and subsea work with a 50-tonne crane, a four-point mooring system, a moon pool and provisions for an ROV. Her hull form is optimized for shallow draft in order to allow her to access the Caspian Sea. 

Micoperi has a longstanding presence in the Mexican GoM as a contractor to Pemex, laying pipelines and maintaining platforms for the state oil company. The area is known for armed robbery incidents targeting offshore facilities and vessels, including attacks that may be attributable to organized crime cartels. 

As of Tuesday evening the Remas was stopped just off the coast of Ciudad del Carmen, according to AIS tracking data.