Oil Tanker Boarded
Reporting indicates that that the MT Maria E oil/chemical tanker has been boarded, Dryad Global highlighted on February 9.
In a statement on Dryad Global’s website on Tuesday, the company said the incident was ongoing and that the vessel was understood to be in the vicinity of the LIANPENGYU 809 fishing vessel, which Dryad Global revealed was hijacked recently.
Dryad Global noted that the MT Maria E incident was the 12th offshore incident this year and the sixth successful boarding. It was also said to be the fourth incident to occur within 24hrs in the waters off Sao Tome. Perpetrators currently in control of the hijacked fishing vessel LIANPENGYU 809 are believed to be responsible.
“Total incidents throughout West Africa in 2020 showed a partial increase of 12 percent on those of 2019,” Dryad Global said in a company statement posted on its website.
“Incidents involving failed approaches showed a significant increase within 2020 with 25 such incidents recorded against 10 in 2019. Mariners are advised that the risk level for all vessels operating within the Gulf of Guinea is to be considered critical,” the company added.
“Dryad advises all vessels to avoid the vicinity of the reported incident, reporting all suspicious activity to the relevant maritime authorities,” Dryad Global continued.
The MT Maria E was built in 2007 and is sailing under the flag of Panama, according to MarineTraffic, which notes that the vessel’s length is 398 feet and that its width is 63 feet.
According to the latest International Maritime Bureau (IMB) figures, incidents in the Gulf of Guinea are particularly dangerous, with over 80 percent of attackers armed with guns. All three vessel hijackings and nine of the 11 vessels fired upon in 2020 related to this region, the IMB’s latest numbers reveal.
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