UK Club said that it had received a security bulletin from Intertanko regarding attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Guinea region.
A number of ships belonging to Intertanko Members had been attacked over the weekend of March 3rd in the Gulf of Guinea, with one attack resulting in three seafarers being kidnapped and taken ashore.
UK Club urged all those operating ships in the area to follow the Guidelines for Owners, Operators and Masters for protection against piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea region (Version 3, June 2018).
Additionally, UK Club urged all ships operating in the area to comply with the reporting processes for the MDAT-GoG centre as detailed in the guidance for ships operating in the Gulf of Guinea.
Intertanko works very closely with MDAT-GoG and all of the regional stakeholders. UK Club noted that MDAT-GoG centre was a trustworthy source and not reporting to them would slow down any response to an attack.
The attack response also includes a direct warning telephone call to all ships that have reported to them to warn them of an attack in the vicinity. Therefore, not reporting would make it harder for a ship to be warned of the presence of a pirate group operating nearby, said UK Club.
Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade – Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GoG) is a service operated by the French and UK navies from centres in Brest, France, and Portsmouth, UK and aims to develop, maintain and share details of the maritime domain picture of the waters off Africa’s western seaboard. The MDAT-GoG administers a Voluntary Reporting Area (VRA) scheme under which merchant ships are encouraged to report position information while operating in the VRA.
The MDAT-GoG has no influence over the deployment of local military assets to assist merchant ships which are attacked but is linked with national and regional maritime operations centres and may be able to help direct them to the scene of an incident.
Ships are encouraged to send regular reports, using the MDAT-GoG reporting forms as below:
|On entering the VRA||Initial Report|
|Daily**||Daily Position Report|
|On Departing the VRA||Final Report|
|By Exception||By Exception Report|
** At 0800 if convenient to daily routine**
The MDAT-GoG reporting forms should be used to make the reports described above.
Email is the preferred method of communication but alternatively telephone,