Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - International - Endure

Security Company assesses pirate risks in Gulf of Guinea

by Dryad Maritime on 30 Nov 2012
Gulf of Guinea .. ©
If any sailors out there thought of sailing Africa's Gulf of Guinea, this report, which does not mention yachts or sailing, might dissuade you. Dryad Maritime, the UK-based specialist in maritime intelligence, has completed an analysis of a specific type of maritime crime that poses a risk to shipping in the Gulf of Guinea, West Africa.

The hijack of vessels for the theft of refined fuel cargoes, termed Extended Duration Robbery (EDR) by Dryad, has recently attracted media attention following an extension of the threat to the waters of Cote D’Ivoire.

According to Dryad, Nigerian criminal networks lie at the heart of this relatively sophisticated, violent crime which can see vessels under pirate control for up to seven days. Black market demand sustains the illegal market in stolen cargoes, whilst organised crime and corruption ensure its continuation in the face of regional attempt to deal with the symptons and tackle the causes.

Dryad data shows that the threat from EDR, in its current form, first emerged in August 2009 with an attack on the MT Trine Theresa in Nigerian waters, which saw the crew held hostage whilst the assailants transferred part of the oil cargo into a waiting vessel.

A subsequent attack on the MT Valle Di Cordoba in December 2010, again in Nigerian waters, was followed by an unprecedented number of attacks against vessels anchored off the coast of Benin. EDR attacks in 2012 have been largely confined to Togolese territorial waters, except the boarding and seizure of the MT Orfeas off the Ivory Coast on October 5th.

Analysis of post-incident data has enabled Dryad to build up a clear picture of the Modus Operandi of the pirates;

'A targeted tanker is boarded by armed assailants, most commonly at night, who proceed immediately to the bridge to gain control of the vessel,' explains Ian Millen, Director of Intelligence at Dryad Maritime.

'The crew is then taken hostage, with the captain and engineering staff kept at their posts under guard, and the vessel is taken to a specific destination where transfer of the cargo to another ship takes place. These attacks are increasingly costly and represent a terrifying situation for the crews of captured ships.'

Dryad’s analysis shows that many pirates appear to have a working knowledge of product tankers and are able to operate the hose system used to transfer fuel from one craft to another.

The most common cargo to be stolen is fuel oil, although incidents of armed theft against other types of vessels, including bulk carriers, have been reported, whilst opportunist crimes such as kidnap for ransom are also prevalent, adding to the ambient range of threats present in the region.

However, despite the clear and growing threat from EDR and recognition of the threat it poses (the UN Security Council held an open debate on the subject in October 2011) not enough is being done to combat the problem, making the Gulf of Guinea an increasingly hostile area for all mariners.

Even with the limited presence of the French and US navies in the area, and the ongoing efforts of regional navies to target pirates, the naval deterrent across the Gulf of Guinea is still not sufficient to combat the criminal syndicates involved in fuel cargo theft effectively.

Dryad’s experts predict that, in the short term at least, attacks against tankers will continue across the area, whilst the increasing sophistication and expertise of the pirates is also allowing them to target shipping far from their base, with the potential for the EDR threat to spread to the territorial waters of Ghana, Cameroon and elsewhere in West Africa.

The danger to shipping is leading to an increased demand for Dryad’s services as a source of maritime intelligence. The company’s risk assessments and vessel safety monitoring services are increasingly in demand, with Dryad increasing its number of analysts and exploring new tools and techniques to meet the increased volumes and deal with the complexities of evolving criminal capabilities.

These measures, combined with privileged sources in the region, have enabled Dryad to become a market-leading source of commercially-available maritime intelligence.

'We are doing all we can to combat the threat to shipping in the Gulf of Guinea. Our knowledge of the area and the ambient threats allows us to give our clients the best possible advice on how to mitigate the threats and avoid danger, whilst our analysts maintain a daily watch on suspect vessels and vessels of interest.

'Taken together, we hope that we are making a contribution to the overall safety of ships’ crews, vessels and their cargoes transiting through and operating in these dangerous waters,' added Ian Millen.

More at www.dryadmaritime.com
Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Zhik Yachting 660x82Naiad

Related Articles

Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
PredictWind - One stop shop
PredictWind have taken the bold step of adding government provided forecasts to their award winning forecasting software PredictWind the world leader in forecasting believe that more is better, and have taken the bold step of adding government provided forecasts to their award winning forecasting software.
Posted on 15 Aug
Marine Resources job updates
Marine Resources specialises in providing expert recruitment services to the leisure marine industry worldwide. Marine Resources specialises in providing expert recruitment services to the leisure marine industry worldwide. Jobseekers register your CV now to receive the latest vacancies and be matched to your ideal job. Employers choose from a variety of recruitment options which include a full consultancy service as well as a unique job advertising package.
Posted on 11 Aug
Marine Resources job updates
Marine Resources specialises in providing expert recruitment services to the leisure marine industry worldwide. Marine Resources specialises in providing expert recruitment services to the leisure marine industry worldwide. Jobseekers register your CV now to receive the latest vacancies and be matched to your ideal job. Employers choose from a variety of recruitment options which include a full consultancy service as well as a unique job advertising package.
Posted on 11 Aug
Kids Polarised Sunglasses from Barz Optics
Barz Optics have developed a quality range of junior polarised sunglasses ideal for sailing and fishing. Barz Optics have developed a quality range of junior polarised sunglasses ideal for sailing and fishing. Each pair are supplied with a neoprene case and sunglass retainer.
Posted on 4 Aug
Candy Store Cup – A sweet spot for superyachts
In true Bucket fashion, social activities included a “yacht hop” on Friday night aboard the participants’ yachts In true Bucket fashion, social activities included a “yacht hop” on Friday night aboard the participants’ yachts, a gathering at Newport’s famous Clarke Cooke House, and a regatta dinner with live reggae music on the grounds of a Newport estate.
Posted on 2 Aug
Superyacht Cygnus Montanus glides out of Auckland destined for Sweden
Cygnus Montanus is the first new build by Yachting Developments in four years. She departed New Zealand in July. Cygnus Montanus is the first new build by Yachting Developments in four years. After starting her design life as a cafe racer, for a Swedish owner, she became orientated more towards ocean passages. She is a step up in size from the owners' previous yacht, of the same name, a Swan 77. Built in West Auckland, the hull, spars and sails all came from companies just a few kilometres apart.
Posted on 31 Jul
Inaugural Candy Store Cup in Newport, RI a resounding success
Six super yachts competed in Class A and another six smaller, but just as beautiful yachts competed in Class B. 2016 Candy Store Cup - This weekend’s inaugural Candy Store Cup was a resounding success. Six super yachts competed in Class A and another six smaller, but just as beautiful yachts competed in Class B. All had ideal conditions for the three days of racing off of Brenton Point in Newport, RI.
Posted on 31 Jul
Candy Store Cup - Day 2
It was a day of light winds and flat seas at the inaugural Candy Store Cup Regatta 2016 Candy Store Cup - It was a day of light winds and flat seas at the inaugural Candy Store Cup Regatta but the majestic yachts still put on a beautiful display of grace and beauty.
Posted on 31 Jul