A Russian Navy destroyer has fended off a pirate attack on a container ship near the western coast of Africa, Russia’s Defence Ministry said on Tuesday.
Destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov received a distress signal from Panama-registered container ship MSC Lucia en route from Togo to Cameroon on Monday, the ministry said in a statement, and dispatched a unit of marines on a Ka-27 helicopter to it.
The pirates immediately fled, allowing Russian marines to free the ship’s crew, who had taken refuge in the machine compartment of the vessel and sent out a distress signal.
The Russian destroyer was part of a group patrolling the Gulf of Guinea to ensure the security of civilian navigation.
Dryad Global reported that an offshore supply vessel had been boarded by an unknown number of attackers near Equatorial Guinea’s Bioko island on 25 October. The incident occurred more than 300 km east of the boarding of the MSC Lucia.
“Reporting suggests that the vessel is currently drifting with AIS broadcasting and perpetrators are understood to have left the vessel. Information regarding the safety of the crew remains unclear,” Dryad said, urging vessels transiting the area to exercise extreme caution.