Pirates target tanker

An aggressive attack on a products tanker off Togo has seen West African pirates set a new record in the Gulf of Guinea.

Pirates in three skiffs attacked the tanker 214 nautical miles south of Lagos last week, according to Bergen Risk Solutions.

Chief executive Arild Nodland says shots were fired at the ship while underway but none of the crew were injured in the incident.

He says the hit marks the farthest from the Gulf of Guinea shoreline that pirates have struck in the region, surpassing the 2011 targeting of the Baltic Mariner 136 nautical miles from Lagos.

“The resilience of the groups targeting product tankers is staggering – even admirable – in light of the increased regional and international efforts to deal with the problem,” Nodland said.

He says the use of three skiffs in the attack was very aggressive but the tactic was common in the area particularly prior to 2010.

“This latest attack reaffirms that pirates operating in the Gulf of Guinea have retained their operational capability to hit targets nearly everywhere,” Bergen Risk said.

“The night-time attack is typical for armed groups working in the region, even though incidents have happened during any time of the day.”

The ship, which Nodland declined to name, has now arrived safely in Angola.