Two tankers were attacked by pirates on Saturday November 7th in separate incidents in the Gulf of Guinea. The ships were chemical/oil products tanker Torm Alexandra (IMO 9466001) and chemical/oil products tanker Wesley (IMO 8917924).
The Torm Alexandra was boarded about 162nm south of Cotonou, Benin, while en route from Lomé, Togo. The crew of 20 Filipinos and 1 person from Montenegro retreated to the citadel and have been reported safe.
Dryad Global noted that this was the third vessel boarded in the region since October 23rd. “With a further failed attempt it is highly likely that the perpetrators will increase in desperation in their attempts to secure their objective which remains most likely the kidnapping of crew for ransom,” the company said, adding that “as such the risk profile for the region is to be considered critical at this time with incidents assessed as highly likely / expected within days.”
An Italian Navy frigate was reported to have come to the rescue of the Torm Alexandra after the tanker’s crew sent out a distress signal. That was received by Italian Navy frigate Martinengo, which sent a helicopter to the scene. When the helicopter aircrew arrived and fired warning shots, the pirates returned fire, but without effect, and then fled. A Benin Navy patrol boat was dispatched to intercept the attackers.
Less than 24 hours later chemical/oil products tanker Wesley was approached while underway about 180nm south-southwest of Lagos, Nigeria and about 53nm northwest of Agbami Terminal, Dryad Global said.
A speedboat carrying seven armed pirates approached the Wesley and came to within 250 metres. The Master of Wesley undertook all security measures and all the crew took shelter in the citadel. Armed guards fired three shots at the speed boat, at which point the pirates fled. The tanker is continuing to its next port of call.
The Torm Alexandra and Wesley are the second and third tankers attacked in the Gulf of Guinea this month. On November 4th pirates boarded tanker Nefeli II (IMO 9291638). The crew retreated safely to the citadel and the pirates stole property and damaged some equipment before leaving.
2010-built, Singapore-flagged, 30,302 gt Torm Alexandra is owned by Oxley Ro Pte Ltd care of manager Torm A/S of Hellerup, Denmark. It is entered with Skuld (Business unit Skuld Copenhagen) on behalf of Torm AS.
1995-built, Marshall Islands-flagged, 9,382 gt Wesley is owned by UML Hinde Ltd care of manager Union Maritime Ltd of London, UK. ISM manager is Atlantic Ship Management of London, UK. It is entered with West of England Club (European Claims Team) on behalf of UML Hinde Ltd.