17 November 2020 0435UTC
59nm South Lome
249 x 45 m
Crude oil Tanker
Reporting indicates that the SKS DONGGANG (IMO: 9461855) was approached by a skiff with an unknown number of persons aboard. The skiff reportedly approached to within 0.5nm of the vessel before leaving. Local authorities have been notified.
This incident occurred in Ghanaian waters, 22nm West of the edge of the Gulf of Guinea HRA and Togo TTW. According to AIS data, the vessel changed direction slightly around the time of the incident and maintained speed.
This is the 10th incident in the Gulf of Guinea in November. The Gulf of Guinea HRA was raised to a critical risk rating following 7 incidents in the past week with several unsuccessful approaches and attacks, as well as 2 successful kidnappings in the last 5 days. As the rate of failed attacks increases, the perpetrators are highly likely to increase in desperation, both as a result of the increased risk to themselves from Naval counter piracy activity, but from logistical strain also. The design of this vessel is less vulnerable, likely discouraging an attempted attack however, as desperation increases attempts against vessels are highly likely to continue with smaller vessels and those of a vulnerable design offer increasingly opportune targets.
Vessels are advised to exercise heightened caution within and on approach to the Gulf of Guinea HRA.