Six crew members, including the captain, were kidnapped from the Liberian-flagged containership Demeter while the ship was sailing some 50 nautical miles south-west of Bonny, Nigeria on October 21st.
An armed group of eight pirates managed to board the boxship after an exchange of fire, a Dryad Maritime Spokesperson Ken Johnson told World Maritime News.
The attack has been conducted by the same group which tried to board a supply vessel a day earlier in the same region but their attempt proved to be unsuccessful.
As informed, at least nine men are being held captive by the same group, which is demanding ransom for their release.
The Panamax containership, built in 2006, has since been escorted to a safe anchorage.
The 3,104 TEU ship is managed by Germany’s Peter Dohle Schiffahrts, according to VesselsValue’s data.
Based on Dryad’s data, out of the 7 attacks conducted southwest of Bonny, this is the second successful attack. Furthermore, 55 crew members have been kidnapped off Nigerian coast so far this year.
Data from IMB ICC shows that 80 crew members were taken hostage in the first nine months of this year, three were injured and 2 killed in attacks on ships off Nigeria.
ICC’s latest report shows that a total of 20 reports against all vessel types were received for Nigeria, 16 of which occurred off the coast of Brass, Bonny and Bayelsa.
More attacks are likely to follow, as the monsoon season in the region is over setting the stage for more favorable conditions for the pirate groups to operate in.
There has been a tactical change employed by piracy groups off Nigeria over the last 18 months, as more attacks are taking place during daylight, Johnson explains. This is indicative of the pirate groups being more confident in their ability to attack ships at sea and get away with it without being caught by the Nigerian security forces.