07 November 2020 0533UTC
162nm South Cotonou
183.2 x 32.23 m
Reporting indicates that the Singapore flagged Chemical Tanker TORM ALEXANDRA (IMO 9466001) was boarded whilst in transit from Lomé.
The crew is understood to be comprised of 20 Filipinos and 1 Montenegrin.
It is understood that ant piracy drills were executed early and all crew are safe and have reached the citadel.
This is the 3rd vessel boarded since the 23rd October 20. Two previous incidents occurred south of Lagos and south of Brass within Nigerian waters. 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. 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.
The above image was taken from the TORM ALEXANDRA during the attack. Pirate Action Groups will often carry identifying items coordinated by uniformity of colour either as an item of closing, flag or arm band.
Following the end of the SW Monsoon season, attacks are known to increase in frequency as conditions become more favourable. Whilst incident volumes overall are showing a partial increase on those of 2019 there is a significant increase in the volume of kidnap incidents across a prolonged timeframe and corresponding numbers of personnel kidnaped.