August 19 – Carisbrooke Shipping’s Vectis Osprey, which is under the commercial management of the Zeaborn Group, has been rescued by the Nigeria Navy from attempted piracy, having been offshore of Bonny Island, Nigeria.
According to the Nigerian Navy, the rescue operation was successful due to the timely alert by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) to the Naval Regional Maritime Awareness Centre (RMAC), which meant that the naval forces were able to over power the attackers after a shootout that made them flee the scene.
It is understood that a Nigerian naval vessel engaged the pirates on approaching the vessel, which made them abandon their mission due to superior fire power. To this end, Naval special forces onboard the war ship embarked and rescued the crew who had locked up themselves in a citadel on the ship.
The crew and cargo is understood to be safe.
Gerry Northwood from international maritime security company, MAST and former Royal Navy counter piracy commander said: “The fact that the crew of Vectis Osprey used their Citadel to good effect was probably instrumental in ensuring that the rescue was a success, and that no innocent seafarers were injured or killed.
“To protect against incidents like these, the best security solution is to conduct a thorough risk assessment, put in place passive measures and ensure the crew maintain a good lookout. It is also vital that crew members are well versed in the guidelines set out by BMP 4, know to take shelter in a well protected and resourced Citadel very quickly, and remain inside the superstructure.
“This incident also suggests that regional reporting, along with the reporting mechanism for Marine Domain Awareness for Trade – Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GoG), is beginning to provide a framework within which we could see, over time, an effective security structure developing in the Gulf of Guinea.”