UPDATE 5: Two Vessels Hijacked Aug 14, 17 CM Total Kidnapped Near Douala Port, Cameroon / Calabar, Nigeria
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 06: Following further investigations, it is very likely that the most recent update was a false report. The vessel is believed to have entered restricted areas and experienced communication problems with a patrol vessel, which resulted in friendly fire as the patrol boat attempted to get the merchant vessel to clear the area. The patrol vessel is believed to have been misidentified by crew as pirates.
UPDATE AUGUST 19: In addition to the below information, a tanker experienced a suspicious approach approx. 50nm south of Calabar Nigeria: at approx. 10:50Z a suspicious craft approached with a closest point of approach (CPA) equal to zero. As the tanker tried to clear the craft, the intruders gave chase and opened fire. All crew mustered in citadel, and following further evasive manoeuvres, the approaching craft aborted the approach. All crew and vessel reported safe.
The below August 16 incidents have also been updated with further details. Changes made are in italics.
UPDATE AUGUST 16 20:55 UTC: It now appears that two vessels were hijacked the evening of August 14-15 approx. 16nm SSW of Douala, Cameroon (03:52:40N – 009:31:12E). A cargo vessel was attacked by unauthorized persons armed with AK47 and nine crewmembers kidnapped (the captain, chief engineer, and 7 CM of unknown nationality.) This vessel was then likely involved in an attack against the general cargo vessel MarMalaita in close proximity between 23:00-24:00 LT, whereupon 8 CM were kidnapped (3 Russian, 1 Ukrainian, and 4 Filipino nationals.) Authorities in Cameroon have been notified and are investigating.
There were also initial reports of an incident 20nm SSW of Bakassi Peninsula Cameroon, which are now believed to have been propagated by a tanker transiting near a platform with its AIS switched off and ignoring radio communication requests to change course. Upon not complying, a warning shot was fired by a security vessel.
Source: Various, inc. GCaptain
UPDATE AUGUST 15 14:44 UTC: MDAT-GoG has reported two further incidents in this area:
(1) 15th August 2019 0118 UTC, a merchant vessel is under attack in. Position 03° 52’40””N 009°31’12 “E (DOUALA PORT, CAMEROON). An unknown number of pirates are reported to be on board. Vessels are advised to exercise extreme caution in this area.
(2) 15th August 2019 0232 UTC. A second merchant vessel was attacked in position 03° 52’40””N 009°31’12 “E (DOUALA PORT, CAMEROON). Vessels are advised to exercise extreme caution in this area.
It is currently unconfirmed how much this is circular reporting, versus distinct attacks, and thusly how many vessels were attacked on August 14-15. Information remains limited, and Maritime Security Review will be updated as further clarification becomes available. We advise extreme caution in this area.
UPDATE AUGUST 14 19:52 UTC: Further, there are unconfirmed reports of a second attack at 10:50 UTC involving gunfire approx. 20nm SSW of Bakassi Peninsula, Cameroon. This report will be updated as further information becomes available.
August 14: Initial reports by MDAT-GoG that an unspecified vessel was “attacked” at approx. 10:14 UTC while approx. 52 nm south of Calabar, Nigeria (position 04°09’36”N 008° 22’ 30’’E). Vessel and crew reported safe. No further information available at this time. This report will be updated as further information becomes available. Vessels are advised to observe extreme caution in this area.