Africa: Pirates Attack, Board Oil Tanker in Gulf of Guinea

Patrolling piracy in the Gulf of Guinea (file photo).
29 March 2023

Danish oil trading and supply company Monjasa has said that it lost contact with one of the its oil and chemical tankers. According to reports, pirates attacked and boarded the 135-meter Monjasa Reformer in the Gulf of Guinea. The spokesperson for the shipping company said all 16 crew members sought refuge in a citadel, a safe room on board the ship in accordance with the onboard anti-piracy emergency protocol. A citadel is a designated pre-planned area built into the ship where, in the event of imminent boarding by pirates, all crew must seek protection.

The vessel which had the Liberian flag at the time it was attacked, is operated by Dubai-based Montec Ship Management, which is owned by Monjasa. "On-board communications channels are currently down and we are working with the local authorities to establish communication to understand the situation on board and provide all the support needed by the crew to overcome these dreadful events," the company said.

According to the statement issued by Montec Ship Management in Denmark, relevant maritime authorities in the gulf have been notified. They reported the incident to a maritime cooperation center operated by the British and French navies to maintain safety in the Gulf of Guinea.
The Gulf of Guinea is a global piracy hotspot but, according to the U.N. Security Council, cases have decreased since 2021 as national authorities stepped up security efforts aided by foreign naval ships.

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