19 May 2021, 1830UTC
04° 33.5N, 000° 15.6 E
25nm South Tema
55.43 x 10.6 m
Reporting indicates that the F/V ATLANTIC PRINCESS (IMO8124412) was boarded 65nm South of Tema resulting in the kidnap of 5 crew.
The vessel is understood to have been approached by one speedboat with 8 pirates onboard. The vessel was reportedly fired upon prior to being boarded by 5 armed men. The vessel is understood to have been Hijacked and sailed south to a distance of 100nm before pirates departed the vessel.
Pirates are understood to have kidnapped 5 crew members understood to be comprised of the following individuals:
Chief Officer- Chinese
Second Officer - Chinese
Chief Engineer - Chinese
Bosun – Russian
This latest attack ends a significant hiatus of activity within the Gulf of Guinea. This latest attack is the first kidnapping incident since 15th March 21. Thus far within 2021 there have been 56 personnel kidnapped across 5 incidents from vessels operating within the Gulf of Guinea.
This latest incident represents the furthest westerly kidnapping within the Gulf of Guinea to date. Trends across the past 18 months have indicated a broadening of the piratical footprint within the Gulf of Guiana, beyond the traditional heartland of the Nigerian EEZ. Reports from crew members indicate that 2 hours prior to the attack, a rusted looking mini tanker vessel was sighted far off the horizon with the AIS off. The vessel is understood to have manoeuvred away from the suspicious tanker. Further but unverifiable reporting indicates that the crew had identified the pirates as Nigerians. Given the significant distance of the incident from Nigerian waters, it remains a realistic possibility that the vessel sighted by the crew was being used as a mothership form which to launch and sustain deep offshore operations.