3 feared dead in Rivers sea pirate attack

Victor Edozie

Three persons are feared dead when gunmen suspected to be sea pirates in the early hours of Saturday attacked three passengers boats en-route Port Harcourt from Billie in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Eyewitness account had it that the gunmen, who attacked the boats separately along the route, also carted away properties belonging to passengers.

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Source: dailytrust.com.ng

Face-to-face with ruthless pirates who rule high seas

Ishaq Jumbe

In 2010, the Indian Ocean waters were a no go zone for merchant ships. Pirates ruled the waves and often, ships plying the lucrative and historic trade route would find themselves in the wrong hands.

But as the lawlessness went on, one group of pirates found themselves on the wrong end of the gun barrel one night in September 2012. On this day, their seawater-beaten Kalashnikovs met their match and by the time dawn broke, most of them lay dead, with others scattered in the high seas.

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Source: standardmedia.co.ke

Nine sailors abducted off the coast of Benin

MV Bonita, image via J.J. Ugland.

A Norway-based shipping company says that nine of its employees have been abducted from one of its vessels while it was moored off the coast of Benin in West Africa.

Shipping firm J.J. Ugland said the cargo ship, the Bonita, was attacked on Saturday by pirates 15km (9 miles) off the coast.

The crew’s identity and nationality have not been made public, but the shipping firm said the rest of the crew moved the vessel into the Port of Cotonou in Benin.

The ship was carrying a cargo of gypsum, a mineral commonly used as fertiliser, which was destined for Benin, the firm said.

While piracy has decreased world wide, West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea remains notorious for abductions by armed groups who usually demand ransoms for the safe return of victims.

Several abductions have been reported in the region in recent months, including eight crew members taken from a German-owned vessel off Cameroon in August, and 10 Turkish sailors off the coast of Nigeria in July.

Source: bbc.com

Multinational maritime exercise begins in Nigerian waters

by Lawal Sherifat

A five-day combined naval exercise has been flagged off in Nigerian waters. The maritime exercise, codenamed: “Grand African Nemo (Navy exercise for maritime operations) involves the participation of four Nigerian Navy ships and a helicopter.

The Exercise, being coordinated by the Nigerian Navy, according to a statement, Wednesday, by the naval spokesman, Commodore Sueman Dahun,” is aimed at supporting the efforts of regional navies to counter criminal activities in the maritime domain through different operational modes of planned exercises.”

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Source: vanguardngr.com

Iranian Naval Flotilla Begins Overseas Mission

Iranian Navy ships in Velayat-90 military exercise, by Mohammad Sadegh Heydari via Wikipedia

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Iranian Navy’s 64th flotilla departed the country’s southern coast on Tuesday for a mission in international waters.

The Iranian “intelligence-combat” flotilla includes a destroyer, dubbed Alvand, and the Bandar Abbas logistical warship.

The flotilla set sail for the high seas immediately after the return of the 63rd naval flotilla, which traveled 15,000 nautical miles in international waters during a 100-day mission.

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Source: tasnimnews.com

 

EU-funded exercise to boost maritime security cooperation

Through the MASE programme funded by the European Union, the Indian Ocean Commission organised the first MASE POLMAR 2019 wide-ranging regional exercise from 16 to 20 October in Madagascar.

The event brought together representatives of the MASE agreements’ signatories countries: Comoros, Djibouti, France, Reunion Island, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Somalia as an observer, International liaison officers and watch-standers from the Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre and the Regional Coordination of Operation Centre, as well as a representative of the European Navy – EUNAVFOR.

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Source: neweurope.eu

NASS petitioned over secure anchorage area

Lagos

A group pushing for security of shipping services in the country has petitioned the National Assembly over the pronouncement by the Nigerian Ports Authority, (NPA), instructing shipping operators to stop paying for personalised security services offered in the Secured Ancourage Area, (SAA) operated by the Nigerian Navy in collaboration with private firm, Ocean Marine Solutions (OMS) Limited.

The group, under the aegis of “Association of Professionals for Safety in Shipping in Nigeria,” APOSSIN, noted that the directive was not only ill-advised but also will be counter-productive, stressing that NPA does not have the authority to make such pronouncement on an arrangement by another agency of government to deliver on its mandate. The SAA is outside the port limits and hence not under the administrative control of the NPA. Security of the nation’s maritime domain statutorily rests on the Nigerian Navy. NPA by the pronouncement is interfering with the functions of the Nigerian Navy, a move that must be condemned by all well-meaning Nigerians.

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Source: vanguardngr.com