Gulf of Guinea pirates attack fishing vessel IRIS S – 5 crew kidnapped

Dryad Global reports that another fishing vessel has been attacked and boarded by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea, with five of the crew abducted and taken away for ransoming.

Attack on the 662-dwt IRIS S registered in Tema, Ghana (IMO8210493) occurred on Monday, 31 May 2021 in position 04° 33.8 N 002° 32,2 E, 109 nautical miles south of Cotonou, Benin. The attack happened at 19h30 UTC that day.

Armed pirates on two speedboats approached and boarded the 62-metre long, 12m wide vessel, taking the crew and ship before they could make their escape.

According to Dryad the pirates stole crew property before kidnapping five of the crew and departing the ship.

Captain; Chief Officer; Second Officer; Chief Engineer – all South Koreans; Engineer – a Filipino.

This latest attack follows a recent threat warning issued by MDAT-GoG indicating a HEIGHTENED risk from piracy within these specific areas 05°00’N – 002°30’E, 05°00’N – 005°00’E, 02°30’N – 005°00’E,02°30’N – 002°30’E

So far in 2021 there have been 61 personnel kidnapped across six incidents from vessels operating within the Gulf of Guinea.

Dryad Global reports that trends across the past 18 months have indicated a broadening of the piratical footprint within the Gulf of Guiana, beyond the traditional heartland of the Nigerian EEZ.

Incidents of kidnapping throughout the Gulf of Guinea are currently tracking below 2020 volumes when 11 incidents were recorded. Despite this, the number of seafarers kidnapped shows a slight increase with 61 seafarers kidnapped in 2021 against 57 across the same time frame in 2020.

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