Bonny Island, Rivers State — Reporting indicates that that the Container vessel MSC PANAYA (IMO9217565) reported a suspicious approach to a distance of 0.1nm by one speedboat with 6/7 men onboard. Crew was not able to see ladder or weapon. Crew and vessel are safe.
Incidents of this nature remain common throughout the Gulf of Guinea. With few indications of piratical material observed and no additional information regarding the nature of the approach it remains unknown whether the incident was an intended act of piracy.
This the 8th offshore incident within 2021. Total incidents throughout West Africa in 2020 showed a partial increase of 12% on those of 2019. Incidents involving failed approaches showed a significant increase within 2020 with 25 such incidents recorded against 10 in 2019. Unsuccessful attempts at boarding’s are likely to increase desperation, particularly with incidents deep offshore distant from shore lines.
Dryad advises all vessels to avoid the vicinity of the reported incidents, reporting all suspicious activity to the relevant maritime authorities.