Sam Ikeotuonye 18 July 2015, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Dryad Maritime, the UK’s leading maritime intelligence and operations company, says the kidnapping of crew for ransom remains the most significant threat to mariners in the Gulf of Guinea.
It stated this in its recently-released analysis of worldwide reported incidents of piracy and crime against mariners covering the period, April 1 to June 30, 2015, saying at least 20 mariners were taken from vessels off the shores of Rivers and Akwa Ibom States in Nigeria in April and May.
Providing commentary on maritime piracy and crime around the world, the conflict in Yemen and Libya and the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean, the report outlines the diverse and complex threats that shipping companies and mariners face.
Dryad’s latest figures show that Southeast Asia continues to dominate maritime crime incidents globally, with 120 reports of piracy and maritime crime instances occurring in the region since January 1, 2015, an increase of 22% compared to the first six months of 2014. Of these reported incidents, 12 were vessel hijackings – an increase of three compared to the same period last year.
Dryad noted that the arrest of two sets of hijackers this year will likely result in a slowdown in the numbers of small product tankers being hijacked in the region, but it fully expects a return of attempted hijacks in July, as the criminal gangs involved have proved themselves to be both resilient and adaptable.