Armed pirates abducted eight crew members of the Greek-flagged tanker Happy Lady while the vessel was anchored around 2 nautical miles off the port of Limboh, in Cameroon, the Hellenic Coast Guard said on December 31.
The kidnapped crew members include five Greek nationals, two Filipinos and one Ukrainian sailor. As informed, one Greek national was injured in the incident, however, the extent of his injuries was not disclosed.
There were 28 crew members on board the tanker when the incident took place.
The Greek Coast Guard said that relevant authorities have been informed of the incident and that activities were underway to monitor the situation.
The MR2 chemical/product tanker was built in 2013 and is owned by Greek company Eastern Mediterranean Maritime.
The latest incident in the Gulf of Guinea comes just a week after 2 personnel were taken from a container vessel Renovation at the Douala anchorage on Dec 22, 2019.
According to the data from Dryad Global, the latest attack brings the total number of the kidnapped crew within the Gulf of Guinea in December alone to 57.
“The rapid increase in incidents is believed to be perpetuated in part by a confluence of factors including favorable conditions and reinforced successes. Lengthy turn around times at terminal locations present considerable security challenges for vessels seeking to reduce exposure to the risk of incident. In addition to this, a lack of coherent and coordinated security response means that pirates are able to operate between national maritime boundaries without restriction,” the maritime security company commented.
“It is assessed that there are multiple PAG’s operating throughout the region, with a high degree of efficiency and confidence. This latest incident was 144nm east from an attack on a container vessel south of Bonny on the 30 Dec 19 during which the attack failed as a result of an embarked security team. Whilst a significant distance away, it is a realistic possibility that the latest attack was perpetrated by the same PAG seeking to target vessels operating in an area with less security infrastructure and subsequently increased opportunity.”