Ten seafarers kidnapped in the GoG piracy attack

Paksoy-1. Credit: Hasenpusch Dietmar

On Tuesday 16 July, 10 crewmembers were taken hostage for ransom from aboard a Turkish cargo ship  Paksoy-1 with eight left on board.

According to a statement by the vessel operator, Kadıoğlu Maritime, Paksoy-1 was attacked and boarded by pirates as the vessel was sailing from its previous port call in Douala, Cameroon, off the Ivory Coast.

The Turkish flagged 114 m-long, 17 m-wide, 8,900 dwt ship was sailing without freight when it was attacked, 230 km away from the coast. Its navigation and communication equipment were damaged in the incident, it has been reported.

The commandeered ship was then brought into Ghanaian territorial waters. The Ghanaian navy, once alerted, sent a ship to tail the Paksoy-1 and are in talks with the pirates to negotiate the release of the crew, that include the captain and first mate.

The vessel operator’s statement further added, “No injuries or loss of lives occurred according to initial information. Our efforts continue for the safe and sound release of all of our personnel.”

This news comes after the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) released their Q2 piracy results, showing a reduction in reported piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) in the same time frame compared with 2018. Attacks in Nigeria are down from 22 in 2018 to 14 in 2019, which demonstrates the Nigerian Navy’s increased efforts to tackle piracy.

However, the GoG remains the most dangerous area for piracy globally, according to the IMB, making up 73% of kidnappings and 92% of hostage takings. SAS has documented several piracy incidents in the region earlier in the year, including the hijacking of a Boskalis crew in May, and the kidnapping of four crewmembers near Cameroon in April, and a Russian crew in January.