Hijack off Congo

MDAT-GoG reports that a merchant ship has been hijacked by pirates off Pointe Noire, Congo on October 29th. The incident occurred around 102nm off the coast.

The vessel, along with another ship, came under attack by pirates reportedly in a fast boat, although other sources suggested that an Offshore Support Vessel had initially been hijacked to use as a mothership in the hijacking. This vessel is now reported as safe.

Sources have named the hijacked vessel as a Panamanian-flagged oil/chemical tanker whose AIS trace places it in the area during the incident. While we are aware of the vessel names, we are withholding them until the reports are confirmed.

The Gulf of Guinea has experienced a particularly busy week for maritime crime, with at least four pirate attacks occurring off Nigeria, including the abduction of 11 crew over the weekend. The incidents will place increased pressure on regional navies to do more to quell maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea, which remains highly dangerous for merchant traffic, as the IMB noted this week.

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