Security in Nigerian waters has been assessed as critical following the occurrence of two piracy events in the past two weeks.
According to reports by global risk intelligence partner, Dryad Maritime, 15 crew members of a Maltese vessel named MT DAVIDE B were kidnapped 213 nautical miles of South Cotonou on March 11.
The Dryad report read, “The vessel is understood to have a crew of 21 personnel consisting of Ukrainian, Romanian, and Philippine nationals.
“The vessel can be seen transiting ENE at 9.6kts, course 65° before her speed falls to 2.9kts and AIS signal is lost.
“The incident appears to have occurred nine nautical miles South East of the edge of the Nigerian Exclusive Economic Zone and is near to where a number of vessels will look to Research Vessel with a Nigerian Security Escort Vessel.”
Similarly, another report from Dryad on March 14 revealed that a vessel was boarded 208 nautical miles South of Lagos. The report said that the vessel was boarded in the same area where 21 personnel were earlier kidnapped.
The report read, “The incident appears to have occurred in the vicinity of the recent kidnapping from the MT DAVIDE B, just inside of the edge of the Nigerian EEZ where a number of vessels will look to RV with Nigerian SEV.
“Vessels within this area are at a unique vulnerability in that they are generally operating within waters beyond the operational footprint of regional security forces.
“Within 2020 there were five incidents inclusive of kidnapping that occurred within 30 nautical miles of the reported incident.”
The report then assessed the risk level of Nigeria waters as critical following the course of both events.
It said, “In the light of the recent boarding, the risk profile to vessels within the area is assessed as critical with further incidents expected within days.”
It also directed vessels to be vigilant and report all suspicious activities.