Kidnapping - 31nm SSW Lagos

Reporting indicates that the reefer WATER PHOENIX has been boarded by an unknown number of persons 31nm SSW of Lagos resulting in the kidnap of two crew. 

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08 September 2020 0550UTC


05°53N 003°17E


31nm SSW Lagos

Vessel Dimensions

134.02 x 20.8 m

Vessel Type


Source Confidence Level


Boarding 31nm SSW Lagos
Boarding 31nm SSW Lagos

Incident Overview

Reporting indicates that the reefer WATER PHOENIX IMO:9045168 was approached and boarded by an unknown number of persons resulting in the kidnap of two crew. The crew members are believed to both be Russian nationals. One of those kidnapped is believed to be the vessel master. The vessel had a crew of 18 including 7 Russians and 11 Filipino. 

AIS tracking indicates that the vessel was on route to Lagos at 14kts and undertook evasive manoeuvres before coming to a stop and is currently drifting. It is unclear whether the perpetrators are still onboard or in the the area and it is advised that all vessels in the area maintain heightened awareness. 

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Dryad Analysis

This is the 13th reported incident in waters of the Lagos Port Complex and Anchorage in the past 12 months most of which have manifest as boarding for theft.

Currently 95 personnel have been kidnapped in 18 incidents off the coast of west Africa within 2020. This is reflective of a slight increase in incidents and volume of personnel kidnapped when compared with the same period in 2019.  

This is the 3rd offshore incidents in the waters south of Lagos within 2020.  

The wider Nigerian EEZ remains the global heartland of maritime crime and piracy with incident volumes exceeding those of other area. It is the 42nd incident in Nigerian TTW in the past 12 months. 



Incident Maritime Piracy Security Nigeria gulf of guinea West Africa