Reporting indicates that the Cargo vessel RIO MITONG has been attacked by a single speedboat with an unknown number of persons onboard. The perpetrators are believed to have used ladders to board the vessel resulting in the kidnap of two crew members believed to be one Russian and one Ukrainian. The remaining crew members are understood to be safe.
This latest incident follows a report of a suspicious approach by a speedboat against a Tanker 22nm offshore Cameroon only several hrs prior. This latest incident brings the total number of persons kidnapped in maritime crime incidents throughout the region to 50.
Across the last 48hrs there has been an increase in reporting concerning suspicious activity involving vessels reported to have acted in a suspicious manner. In another report a speedboat was sighted circling an offshore platform in waters off Mayumba, Gabon.
Whilst the trend of incidents within West Africa is showing a gradual decline, there is an upward trend in severity of incidents notably those involving kidnap for ransom. Vessels operating in this region must maintain the highest levels of vigilance and ensure that vessels are adequately hardened when required.