Reporting indicates that a vessel has been boarded 213nm South of Cotonou.

The incident is understood to have involved the vessel being boarded by 9 armed individuals and that 15 of the 21 crew members (consisting of Ukrainian, Romanian and Philippine nationals) have been kidnapped. 

The incident is understood to be ongoing.

Whilst unconfirmed, further reporting indicates the vessel to be the Maltese flagged MT DAVIDE B (IMO9721750)

The vessel can be seen transiting ENE at 9.6kts, course 65° before her speed falls to 2.9kts and AIS signal is lost.

The incident appears to have occurred 9nm SE of the edge of the Nigerian EEZ and is near to where a number of vessels will look to RV with Nigerian SEV. Vessels within this area are at a unique vulnerability in that they are generally operating within waters beyond the operational footprint of regional security forces. Within 2020 there were 5 incidents inclusive of kidnapping that occurred within 30nm of the reported incident.

Vessels are reminded that the risk to vessel and crew when operating within the JWC-025 extended HRA is SEVERE. As such all vessels are recommended to ensure full compliance with BMP5 recommendations and ensure maximum hardening and mitigation are employed for operations within this area.

Source: DryadGlobal