Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

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 33 660x82Mackay BoatsSouthern Spars - 100

Related Articles

The Bridge – The Queen Mary – Essence of historical transatlantic race
The Bridge has invited the Queen Mary 2 to take part in an ocean challenge in a race against a fleet of giant trimarans On 2nd December, the press conference for the official launch of The Bridge was held in the prestigious setting of the Salle Turenne at the Hôtel des Invalides. The Bridge, a unique, festive, maritime, cultural and popular event, will take place from June 15th until the beginning of July 2017, in Nantes, Saint-Nazaire and New York.
Posted on 3 Dec
Two Oceans, One Rock in a Proa.
A Proa is a multihull sailboat common in the South Pacific and Indonesia. They have two different sized, parallel hulls. A Proa is a multihull sailboat common in the South Pacific and Indonesia. They have two different sized, but parallel hulls. Jzero, the Proa pictured here is a shunting boat and does not tack. Ryan Finn is launching the modified 36-foot Proa, so as to accomplish the fastest-ever, nonstop solo-sail, around the Old Clipper-ship Cape Horn Route from New York to San Francisco.
Posted on 2 Dec
Mark Light appointed Race Director of Clipper Round the World Race
Mark replaces former Race Director Justin Taylor who decided to stand down after almost a decade with the company. With four years’ experience assisting the race planning, he is now looking forward to stepping up to the lead role, one of the most challenging that exists in global sailing.
Posted on 28 Nov
Predictwind release improved racing and cruising routing function
PredictWind has released a major upgrade to its Routing function, taking a much more graphic and interactive approach PredictWind has released a major upgrade to its Routing function, taking a much more graphic and interactive approach to what has been a black art of weather routing, used to chose the fastest route for racers or most comfortable route for cruisers.
Posted on 28 Nov
Predictwind release improved racing and cruising routing function
PredictWind has released a major upgrade to its Routing function, taking a much more graphic and interactive approach PredictWind has released a major upgrade to its Routing function, taking a much more graphic and interactive approach to what has been a black art of weather routing, used to chose the fastest route for racers or most comfortable route for cruisers.
Posted on 28 Nov
Only room for one at the top
The results of RMIT's (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) independent testing are in. The results of RMIT's (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) independent testing are in. Zhik® is the market leader in waterproof durability with a new standard that replicates the real world sailing environment and conditions. It is an astounding four times more so than the previous leader.
Posted on 28 Nov
Only room for one at the top
The results of RMIT's (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) independent testing are in. The results of RMIT's (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) independent testing are in. Zhik® is the market leader in waterproof durability with a new standard that replicates the real world sailing environment and conditions. It is an astounding four times more so than the previous leader.
Posted on 28 Nov
Parlier reigns supreme in Hydrofoil Worlds
The south westerly breeze kicks over the land mass over north facing beach, making for flat water despite strong wind. Whatever the shortcomings of the Fremantle Doctor on the first day of competition, were made up for in spades on day two, when the wind kicked in early at 15 knots and quickly built to 18 with gusts as high as 26. The Rockingham course is perfectly suited to such conditions. The south westerly breeze kicks over the land mass over the north facing beach, making for flat water despite strong wind.
Posted on 27 Nov
Fourth Blog from on board Perie Banou II
Oh no - not the coffee cup Oh no - not the coffee cup - Jon keeps us all entertained as he approaches Reunion Island. The B&G chartplotter tells me since leaving the pleasant mid Western Australian town of Carnarvon (by world standards, an isolated town), that I have sailed some 2559 NM and have 751nm to go to Le Port Reunion Island. French. Reunion is a Suburb (department) of Paris. Population 844,000.
Posted on 23 Nov
Marine Resources job updates
The latest jobs in the marine industry Marine Resources specialises in filling job vacancies within the Leisure Marine Industry. We have a variety of recruitment services to suit all types of marine employer.
Posted on 18 Nov