Turkish Suezmax tanker Istanbul has foiled a pirate attack on Tuesday, December 24, while sailing some 180 nautical miles southwest of Brass, Nigeria.
The ship was approached by a high-speed craft with 9 armed men aboard trying to board the vessel, Dryad Global informed.
The tanker conducted evasive maneuvers and following two failed attempts the pirates were seen to withdraw to a mothership vessel.
The tanker and crew are unharmed and have continued on their way, the security consultancy said.
“The Istanbul appears to have taken a south-western track from the Odudu terminal. This inadvertently tracked her vessel through the concentration of 2019 incidents,” Dryad pointed out.
“Trends within 2019 have shown a shift in the concentration of incidents from 2017 and 2018 from an area south of Port Harcourt, between the Bonny and Brass terminals, to a linear spread of incidents along the Eastern fringe of the Nigerian EEZ.”
As explained, the Eastern fringe of the Nigerian EEZ seems to be particularly vulnerable due to the density of energy infrastructure and density of traffic transiting northbound to conduct operations within the Niger Delta region.
“With this confluence of factors and the significant geographic limitation imposed upon Nigerian security forces, pirates operating with both capability and intent are afforded the opportunity to act freely without significant risk of being interdicted,” the maritime security company added.
According to Dryad’s data, this is the 7th MARSEC incident occurring beyond the eastern fringe of the Nigerian EEZ within 2019. Thus far, five of the seven incidents have occurred within 20nm of the eastern fringe of the Nigerian EEZ. Four incidents have involved kidnappings with one hijacking and two failed attacks.
Only two incidents were recorded in 2017 and two in 2018 respectively.