Lagos — The MT Vemahope, a product tanker vessel has been attacked by a single speedboat with an unknown number of armed individuals on board resulting in the kidnap of 10 crew members while four crew members were left on onboard.
With the kidnap of 10 crew from the VEMAHOPE the total number of crew kidnapped from vessels operating in West Africa within 2020 is increased to 42 personnel.
The incident is located 39nm NE of an incident involving a vessel being fired upon in February 20 and 101nm NW of what appeared to be a focus of incident reporting within 2019.
Historically incident reporting within this area is significantly less than that of the wider Delta area, principally a s a result of less traffic density however across 2019 and 2020 there has been a gradual increase in incidents occurring beyond traditional maritime crime heartlands.
If confirmed, this incident would be the 7th deep offshore incident within the Nigerian EEZ within 2020. Total incidents in West Africa have thus far tracked 2019 trends almost exactly with a partial fall of only 1 incident seen in 2020 compared incidents over the same time-frame in 2019.