Six crew kidnapped from two vessels in Gabon

Vessel traffic in the Gulf of Guinea as seen by IHS Markits' ship tracking portal. Credit: IHS Markit AISLive

Two fishing trawlers were attacked, boarded, and three crew members kidnapped from each in separate incidents off the coast of Libreville, Gabon, on 3 May.

One pirate skiff holding 13 assailants was involved in both attacks, which took place on board the Senegal flagged vessels, Amerger II and Amerger VII. The attacks occurred 20 nautical miles and 36 nautical miles away from shore, respectively.

The nationalities of the kidnapped crew are thought to be made up of three Indonesian, two Senegalese, and one South Korean seafarer.

Attacks and subsequent kidnappings appear to be on the rise in the Gulf of Guinea, with 47 incidents of piracy and armed robbery in the region recorded in Q1 of 2020, according to IMB. Another recent attack took place 1 May, where 10 crew members were kidnapped off product tanker Vemahope, 116 nautical miles off the coast of Nigeria.

This latest incident brings the total number of kidnaps in West African waters to 48.