By Chioma Iruke
Piracy incidents in the first nine months of 2021 is the lowest reported cases in 17 years, the Nigerian Navy has said.
According to Navy Spokesperson Commodore Suleiman Dahun, statistics shows that in the first nine months of the year, pirates’ hijack have resulted in the kidnap of 51 crew members, eight taken hostage and one killed.
This is the latest piracy report from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) released this week, which shows 85 vessels boarded, nine attempted attacks, two vessels shot at, and one hijacked.
Dahun noted that the bureau while welcoming the decrease, repeats its ongoing warning for seafarers to remain vigilant, particularly in view of high levels of violence against crew in many areas.
According to him, the Gulf of Guinea region recorded 28 incidents of piracy and armed robbery in 2021’s first nine months, compared to 46 for the same period in 2020.
“Notably, Nigeria reported only four, compared to 17 in 2020 and 41 in 2018. Crew kidnappings in the region dropped with a single crew member kidnapped in quarter three of 2021, compared to 31 in five separate incidents during the same quarter in the preceding year.
“All 2021 quarter three incidents were against vessels at port anchorages and the average successful kidnapping location was 100 nautical miles from land.
“The overall reduction of piracy and armed robbery incidents in the region bears testament to enhanced maritime security and response co-ordination measures adopted by regional and national authorities,” the IMB statement read.