Even as the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB)’s annual piracy report has identified the Gulf of Guinea as the highest hotbed for piracy in 2020, another containership, MAERSK CARDIFF was on Wednesday night, January 13th attacked two times within a span of few hours over the night in Port Harcourt’s Southwest.
The IMB has reported that globally, 135 crew were kidnapped from their vessels in 2020, with the Gulf of Guinea accounting for over 95% of crew numbers kidnapped. A record 130 crew members were kidnapped in 22 separate incidents.
Our correspondent gathered that Maersk Cardiff with IMO number 9529255, dwt 62557, capacity 4496 TEU, built 2013, flag Singapore, was en route from Tema Port in Ghana, even though the port of destination was yet to be known.
Unconfirmed reports highlighted that the vessel gallantly took evasive action, fought off the pirates and continued its journey when it was first attacked.
But the dreaded pirates later regrouped, mobilized and again attacked the vessel at 0000 UTC Jan 14, and this time around, probably boarded it.
“She was probably, boarded”, a report by Fleetmon indicated of the second attack, adding that as at 0230 UTC Jan 14, the MAERSK CARDIFF was already drifting near the attack site with Nigerian security boat at her side.
It was further learnt that the Automatic Identification System (AIS) was still on.