The activities of pirates continues to surge in the Gulf of Guinea region. Reports indicates that when anchored at the Libreville anchorage area, the OSV TAMPEN was boarded by unknown armed men on Sunday September 5.
The vessel was boarded by 3 armed men. Upon boarding it is understood that the crew engaged with the pirates in a bid to repel the attack. Two crew members are confirmed to have sustained injuries and are understood to be receiving treatment in hospital. At least one individual is understood to have sustained a gunshot wound. One member of the crew is understood to be missing at this time. The missing crew member is presumed to have been kidnapped. Following this attack Gabonese Maritime authorities have advised that ISPS L2 will be in operation.
If confirmed this incident would be the second incident within Gabonese waters within 2021 and the first reported kidnapping within this timeframe. Indeed, region wide this latest incident would be the first offshore kidnapping incident reported throughout the wider region since 31 May 21. Kidnapping incidents region wide have undergone a significant downturn within 2021.
Kidnappings within Gabonese waters remain irregular however historically there is an established cadence of events that has seen a number of kidnappings offshore both Libreville and Port-Gentil. Between March and My 2020 there were three vessels boarded within Gabonese waters resulting in the kidnap of 16 personnel.
Source: Dryad Global