According to the ICC IMB’s Piracy Report, Nigerian pirates kidnapped five crewmembers from an OSV in the Gulf of Guinea over the weekend of March 9th/10th, despite the efforts of a security escort vessel.
After an active firefight between the escort and the attackers, pirates boarded the unnamed target vessel, ransacked its cabins and made off with the victims.
The incident began at about 11:15 UTC on Saturday March 9th about 30 nm off Brass, Nigeria. Armed pirates in two speed boats approached an OSV that was under way. The OSV’s captain called for help from what IMB ICC described as a “naval escort security boat,” which manoeuvred to engage the attackers. One speed boat closed in from port side of the vessel and crossed the bow, while the other speed boat exchanged fire with the security boat.
To defend themselves against the attack, the OSV’s crew gathered in the engine room and shut down all power. The pirates in the second speedboat boarded the vessel using a ladder. They broke into the deckhouse, vandalized the cabins and took crew belongings and vessel’s equipment. The pirates then proceeded to the engine room, kidnapped five men and escaped. The remaining crew sailed the vessel under escort to a safe anchorage.
One Nigerian Navy armed guard was reportedly killed in the exchange of fire between the naval security boat and the pirates.