21 August 2020 0300 UTC
8nm SE Freetown
80m x 8m
Reporting suggests that the Chinese-flagged Fishing vessel SHENGHAI2 IMO: - was attacked by 7 armed men onboard one speed boat when anchored 8nm off of Freetown, Sierra Leone, at about 0030 hrs UTC. The assailants were using machetes and shotguns. The armed men boarded the fishing boat but crew onboard tried to counter the boarding. During the fight several crew members were wounded, sustaining severe injuries. The Sierra Leone Navy dispatched a search and rescue team to support the SHENGHAI2, the individuals had left before arrival of this team on scene.
The reported nature of these incident varies from previously reported incidents in the vicinity of Freetown. There have been 5 other reported incidents within Sierra Leonean waters in the past 5 years and only one of which is in the past 3 years. All of these other 5 incidents have occurred within the Anchorage area west of the port. Maritime crime within this area is characterised by boarding's of vessel at anchor for the purposes of theft. Although regular, this area witnesses a comparatively reduced rate of reported maritime crime when compared to wider West Africa.