Crude Oil Tanker Crew Kidnapped
Reporting indicates that the MV Agisilaos crude oil tanker has been boarded by an unknown number of people while underway in the Gulf of Guinea, resulting in the kidnap of four crew.
That’s according to maritime security company Dryad Global, which noted that the vessel is now reported safe and that local authorities had been notified. The incident occurred in Ghanaian waters, five nautical miles (nm) from the Western edge of the Gulf of Guinea HRA and 22nm west of Togo TTW, Dryad Global outlined. According to AIS data, the vessel changed direction to the starboard at the time of the incident and reduced its speed, conducting evasive maneuvers to avoid boarding.
Dryad Global highlighted that this was the 24th confirmed kidnapping incident in the waters of the Gulf of Guinea within 2020, with 122 crew kidnapped from vessels. Three crew members aboard a bunkering vessel were kidnapped on November 17, 22nm north-east of the MV Agisilaos incident.
“While the design of this vessel does not signal any overarching vulnerabilities, this incident highlights the desperation of perpetrators in the region,” Dryad Global said in a statement posted on its website.
“Counter-piracy operations and logistical strains mean larger vessels may be targeted should attacks targeting smaller vessels with vulnerable characteristics be unsuccessful,” the company added in the statement.
“Further attacks on vessels underway are highly likely, and vessels are advised to exercise heightened caution within and on approach to the Gulf of Guinea HRA,” Dryad Global continued.
The MV Agisilaos ship was built back in 2006 and is sailing under the flag of the Marshall Islands, ship tracking and maritime intelligence company MarineTraffic highlights on its website. According to MarineTraffic, the vessel has an overall length of 604 feet and a width of 90 feet.
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