15 December 2020, 0337 UTC
160nm SW Brass
127.21 x 20.4 m
Reporting indicates that MT NEW RANGER (IMO 9328326) has been boarded underway 160nm SW of Brass, Nigeria. The incident is has concluded, with vessel and crew reported safe.
This boarding underway is the second incident this week in the Gulf of Guinea, and the third time this vessel has been boarded in December 2020. There have been a surge of incidents in the past 5 weeks, resulting in an increased risk rating for the Gulf of Guinea HRA to CRITICAL on 11th November.
As failed attacks continue, perpetrators are highly likely to increase in desperation. This is likely to be because of the increased risk to themselves from naval counter-piracy activity, but from logistical strain also. Vessels are most vulnerable when skiffs approach under the cover of darkness, approaching and boarding with little to no resistance.
The NEW RANGER has previously been involved in incidents in the Gulf of Guinea in June and September 2011, January 2015 and most recently on the 5th and 6th of December.
Vessels are advised to operate within this area at a heightened posture maintaining the highest levels of vigilance whilst implementing full hardening / mitigation in accordance with BMP West Africa where possible. In addition the IMB advises that vessels remain at least 200nm-250nm offshore where possible.