An MSC container ship has been attacked in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Nigeria, Dryad Global reported Monday.
Maritime security firm Dryad Global said the MSC Lucia was boarded by an unknown number of attackers about 86 nautical miles southwest of the Agbami oil terminal, located about 70 miles south-southwest of the Niger Delta.
“The incident is understood to be ongoing,” the company said. Vessels transiting the area are advised to exercise extreme caution.
A navy vessel is arriving, Dryad reported.
The MSC Lucia is a Panamanian-flagged, 189-meter-long, 1,951-TEU container ship, according to MSC’s website. The vessel was built in 1985.
The latest quarterly global piracy report from the ICC’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB) showed that the number of reported incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships worldwide has fallen to the lowest level in decades.
Incidents in the Gulf of Guinea region, the peak of pirate activity in recent years, fell to 28 piracy and armed robbery incidents in the first nine months of 2021, compared to 46 in the same period in 2020. Most notably, Nigeria reported only four incidents in the first nine months of 2021, compared to 17 in 2020 and 41 in 2018.
Crew kidnappings in the region have also decreased, with only one crew member kidnapped in the third quarter of 2021, compared to 31 crew members kidnapped in five separate incidents during the third quarter of 2020.
“We welcome the decline in piracy and armed robbery attacks in the Gulf of Guinea and the efforts made by maritime authorities in the region,” said Michael Howlett, Director of the ICC International Maritime Bureau, in releasing the latest report.
“However, continued efforts are needed to ensure the safety of seafarers transporting essential goods throughout the region. Coastal states must redouble their coordination and security measures to ensure that incidents of piracy and armed robbery continue to decline.”