A maritime security alert has been issued for the Gulf of Guinea after a tanker, reported to be Nigerian-flagged MT Pluto, was attacked in position 02:56N – 006:13E roughly 90NM south of Lagos on 22 March.
Reports suggest 10 armed men deployed in attack craft from a brown and white fishing vessel before chasing and boarding MT Pluto, and looted the vessel and destroyed the communication equipment before escaping.
The attack confirms AKE’s previous warnings of pirates using fishing vessels to extend their operational range to significant distances from the coast.
Operators in the vicinity of the attack should proceed with vigilance, and be aware of suspect local vessels. Attacks over 100NM have been recorded in recent weeks, and should be anticipated off Nigeria and Benin in the short term.
A layered defence system will prove highly effective in reducing the chances of a successful pirate attack; a citadel capable of sustaining life for up to three days should be installed as an effective last resort.