Two Pirate Boardings in One Day in Gulf of Guinea

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Published Mar 6, 2020 10:04 PM by The Maritime Executive

[Brief] On Thursday, Greek vessel operator Minerva Marine reported that the product tanker Minerva Virgo was boarded by pirates off the coast of Benin. 

The vessel was boarded about 40 nm off Cotonou Thursday while on a voyage between the Netherlands and Lagos, Nigeria. The ship's crew were able to take refuge in the citadel, according to the company. Unconfirmed reports suggest that one seafarer may have been captured in the altercation.  

Rome-based security consultancy Praesidium International reported that a second attack, potentially conducted by the same pirate action group, was carried out the same day at a position about 75 nm to the east. The Hong Kong-flagged vessel Huanghai Glory came under attack at about 1830 hours, Praesidium boarding, and the SSAS was activated. Subsequent attempts to contact the crew were not successful, the firm said - an indication that the crew may have retreated to the citadel. 

A third vessel reported a suspicious approach in the Togolese EEZ on the same day, Praesidium said.