A Denmark-flagged tanker has been approached by a suspicious boat off the coast of Ghana but managed to avoid a potential attack.
This is according to Praesidium International, which said the Hafnia Phoenix on 22 September reported being approached by a speedboat carrying nine or ten people with a ladder whilst 150 km southeast of Takoradi. The tanker increased its speed and performed evasive manoeuvres, forcing the perpetrators to abort their approach.
The Hafnia Phoenix is owned by Hafnia BW Group, Bahamas. The vessel had left Lomé, Togo, on 21 September and was heading southwest when it started to change course and to increase speed around. Shortly afterwards, the vessel performed evasive manoeuvres suggesting that the change of course and speed was insufficient to force the perpetrators to cease their action.
The position and the general sea conditions that characterize the Gulf of Guinea waters during this time of the year could possibly indicate the presence of a supporting craft although this cannot be confirmed, Praesidium International said.
It added that the latest reported piracy incident in the general area occurred on 28 August when the Ghana-flagged fishing vessel AP 703 was attacked and successfully boarded by a group of pirates 190 km off Tema. The attack resulted in the kidnapping of two crewmembers. It is worth noting that during the same day, at approximately 70 km southwest SW of the AP 703 attack position, the Marshall-Island tanker Pike was approached by the same group of pirates who attempted to board the vessel without success.
“Considering the past events and recent modus operandi, it is likely that the PAG is still in the area and currently heading East towards Nigeria. Further possible boarding attempts could occur over the next 48 to 96 hrs. All ships sailing in the general area are advised to exercise extreme caution during the next 96 hours,” Praesidium International said.