Some 18 crew members aboard a ship named MV HAILUFANG II, have been rescued from pirates attack in the Gulf of Guinea by the Nigerian Navy.
The crew members, which comprised of Chinese, Ghanaians and Ivoirians, were attacked by pirates on May 15, 2020, off the Ivorian coast. Sources said that as soon as the pirates took control of the vessel, they directed it to Nigerian waters.
Unbeknownst to them, it was on Nigerian waters that the pirates met their waterloo.
The Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship BEECROFT, Ibrahim Shettima, issued a statement, saying that the crew members were rescued and 10 pirates were arrested.
The statement read in part, “The pirates took control of the vessel and directed the vessel towards Nigerian waters. The vessel had 18 crew members, comprising Chinese, Ghanaians and Ivoirians. The Nigerian Navy was alerted to the attack and it immediately dispatched the NNS NGURU to intercept the vessel.On interception of the vessel at about 140 nautical miles south of Lagos’ Fairway Buoy, the pirates refused to comply with the orders of the navy ship.”
“Hence, the NN had to conduct an opposed boarding of the vessel. All the ship’s crew were safely rescued, while 10 pirates were arrested. This is aptly captured in the NN Total Spectrum Maritime Strategy, which covers Nigeria’s outermost maritime area of interest, encompassing the entire West African waters and the GoG.”
“This underscores the need for increased regional cooperation in terms of information sharing and further deepening of response capability. For instance, this rescue effort was bolstered by additional intelligence received from the Benin navy during the operation.”