Two Russians have been kidnapped aboard a Liberian flagged vessel, Water Phoenix with IMO number 9045168, while navigating 34 nautical miles, South of Lagos waters, Praesidium International, an Italian based maritime security firm stated.
In a travel advisory issued by Praesidium International on Tuesday to other ships approaching Nigeria, the firm stated that the vessel master and another crew member-both Russians, were kidnapped, while the remaining 16 crew members of the ship managed to retreat into the citadel, thus avoiding kidnap by the pirates.
The Praesidium International travel advisory said: “On September 8, 2020, approximately 34 nautical miles south of Lagos, the Liberian flagged cargo vessel, Water Phoenix was attacked by an undisclosed number of men.
“Initial report revealed that the pirates managed to board the vessel and kidnap the Master and another crew member, both Russians. The remaining crew members numbering 16 managed to retreat into the citadel. The total crew is composed of 18 seafarers, seven Russians and 11 Filipinos.
“The Water Phoenix is owned by Seatrade Groningen B.V. Netherlands.”
Giving an update on the trend of attacks within the area in the last 12 months, Dryad Global, a UK-based maritime security firm revealed that Tuesday’s attack brings the total number of reported cases to 13.
“This is the 13th reported incident in waters of the Lagos Port Complex and Anchorage in the past 12 months, most of which have manifested as boarding for theft.
“This is the 3rd offshore incidents in the waters south of Lagos within 2020. Currently, 93 personnel have been kidnapped from vessels in incidents off West Africa in 2020.
“The wider Nigerian EEZ remains the global heartland of maritime crime and piracy with incident volumes exceeding those of other areas.
“It is the 42nd incident in Nigerian TTW in the past 12 months,” Dryad Global said.