10 Crew Kidnapped From Tanker 76NM SW of Cotonou, Benin
February 20, 01:10 UTC: Initial reports indicate that 10 (out of a total of 24) crew have been kidnapped from the crude oil tanker ALPINE PENELOPE (IMO #9379301) while she was approx. 76 nautical miles southwest of Cotonou, Benin and headed from Ijmuiden, the Netherlands towards Lagos, Nigeria (approx. posn. 05 07.8N, 002 06.0E).
While details remain limited at this time, there are initial reports of at least two armed men successfully boarding the vessel, and that crew were able to activate SSAS ahead of communication being lost.
As of 14:00 UTC, the ship was reportedly under way after drifting in a southerly direction for approx. 10 hours with no security nor navy nearby.
This incident occurred approx. 11 NM from the illegal boarding of the ATLANTIC DISCOVERER last month on January 19, where two unauthorized persons boarded the vessel alongside at least five other persons alongside in a skiff.
This report will be updated as further information becomes available.
Source: MDAT-GoG & Others