Asian, European seamen kidnapped off Cameroon: navy source

Yaoundé (AFP) – Asian and European seamen were kidnapped Thursday aboard a vessel in the Gulf of Guinea off the southern Cameroon port of Douala, a senior Cameroonian navy source said.

“(They) were abducted this morning,” said the source, who gave no details about the number or nationality of the kidnap victims. “The kidnappers are probably Nigerian pirates,” the source said. “Cameroonian forces have launched search operations.”

MSM Note: Some media sources have stated that Cameroonian naval personnel were also abducted during the attack.

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Source: news.yahoo.com

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Pirate Attacks Continue Worldwide Despite Efforts to Control Them

ASIA – AFRICA – Although the rash of serious pirate attacks off the Somalian coast which we reported on almost a daily basis in the years leading up to 2017 have since diminished, that does not mean the seas of the world are now always a safe place to ply one’s trade. It was a concentrated, internationally coordinated policy of increased naval surveillance which managed to largely control the hijacking of container ships and tankers in the Indian Ocean, but elsewhere every day brings the risk of assault on the innocent.

The Information Fusion Centre (IFC) is a division of the Indian Navy and its semi-annual report for South East Asia shows the state of play in the region. What should be made clear here is that the vast bulk of incidents worldwide are not truly ‘piracy’. To qualify for that title the vessel being assaulted must be at sea, therefore only one true pirate attack has taken place recently according to the IFC, that of the South Korean flagged bulk carrier CK Bluebell on July 22 near the Singapore Strait which passes Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

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Source: handyshippingguide.com

Nigeria wants to adopt Kenya’s strategy in bolstering maritime security

The Gulf of Guinea is a hub of illegal activities resulting in tremendous threats to global trade and security. It is the most dangerous stretch of sea for pirate attacks over the planet. To overcome the challenge, a two-day International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference took place in Ghana’s capital, Accra. It attracted experts from various countries who discussed the issues of armed robbery and piracy and the solutions. The conference focused on dealing with multiple security-related issues like piracy, illegal fishing, abducting for ransom, illegal oil bunkering and drug trafficking in the Gulf of Guinea.

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Source: devdiscourse.com

Drakensberg now on humanitarian duty in Mozambique

Mozambique Channel

SAS Drakensberg (A301) is steaming up the east coast of southern Africa loaded with a cargo of much-needed humanitarian aid following completion of an Operation Copper anti-piracy mission in the Mozambique Channel.

The humanitarian aid forms part of international support, including from South Africa, to assist in rebuilding cyclone damaged Mozambique. Estimates are Cyclone Idai, which hit Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe in March, caused damage running into billions of dollars, destroying houses, farms, roads and other infrastructure in the process.

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Source: defenceweb.co.za

India hands over interceptor boats to Mozambique

India has handed over two fast interceptor boats to Mozambique as part of an agreement to strengthen defence cooperation between the two countries.

The boats were handed over on 29 July during a ceremony at Mozambican Naval Headquarters, coinciding with a visit by India’s Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh. It was Singh’s first visit abroad as Defence Minister and the first-ever visit of an Indian Defence Minister to Mozambique.

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Source: defenceweb.co.za

Maritime Union Report on the Dangers Seafarers Face on Ships in the Persian Gulf

Persian Gulf/SoH

First Hand Report on Transiting the Strait of Hormuz in a Merchant Vessel

PERSIAN GULF – As with the case of piracy in the waters off the Somali Coast, nothing brings the realities of dangers at sea whilst transiting the seas in the region like the first-hand accounts of those who have experienced the terrors of passing through the Strait of Hormuz whilst anticipating an attack from armed forces.

With security levels raised by the British government following the seizure of the UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero the focus of the maritime unions has been on the welfare of their members and now Nautilus International, the trade union for maritime professionals, has released the testimony of one of its members, via a report by Helen Kelly, illustrating the circumstances faced by seafarers in the region.

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Source: handyshippingguide.com

West Africa piracy threatens regional trade plans: Ghana minister

Piracy in the waters off West Africa threatens plans to bolster regional trade, Ghana’s defence minister warned Wednesday, as navy chiefs discussed efforts to secure the troubled waters.

The Gulf of Guinea is the most dangerous stretch of sea for pirate attacks in the world, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).

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Source: theeastafrican.co.ke