Pirates opened fire on BW Group’s LNG tanker Lakoja on 28 December 2019 off the Gulf of Guinea
A speedboat approached the LNG carrier with 10 armed men, who opened fire on BW Lokoja. The vessel was on its way to a Nigeria LNG facility at Bonny in Rivers, Nigeria. The attack took place 65 nautical miles northwest of Sao Tome. The vessel escaped and later met with naval vessels.
Marine Traffic reported that the vessel is now on its way to Huelva in Spain, and due to arrive on 12 January 2020.
On 30 December 2019, three vessels, Vinalines Mighty, MT Happy Lady and Drogba were attacked.
In the case of Vinalines Mighty, maritime security firm Dryad Global said three pirates boarded the ship but the crew were unharmed.
MT Happy Lady, a chemical tanker, was boarded by pirates who took eight crew members hostage and wounded one.
Five Greek nationals, two Filipino nationals and one Ukranian have reportedly been kidnapped. The incident took place at Limboh Anchorage, Cameroon.
Drogba was attacked in Bight of Bonny, Gulf of Guinea, while en route from Lagos to Harcourt, Nigeria. Pirates encountered an armed team of Nigerian Navy personnel on board, and fled. The vessel reached Harcourt the same day.
There has been a surge in the number of incidents in the Gulf of Guinea in December.
In early December, 19 seafarers were kidnapped from the VLCC Nave Constellation 100 nautical miles south of Bonny Island, Nigeria. In the last week of 2019, three ships were targeted and repelled pirates including BW Lokoja and suezamax tanker Istanbul.
Dryad noted that following the two failed attacks on the tanker Istanbul, two speedboats were seen heading towards a vessel. Dryad speculated that the vessel, a chemical tanker, might be acting as a mother vessel.
Elsewhere, the seven kidnapped crew members of the Pacific Warden vessel were released on 26 December and returned to family. Pacific Warden, a vessel operated by Swire Pacific Offshore was attacked on 20 November off the coast of Equatorial Guinea.
Pirates in the Gulf of Guinea have attacked nine vessels taken 89 crew members hostage for ransom in 2019.