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17 September 2019 – Hijacking, Cameroon

Around 5nm SSW of Conakry, Guinea.
Four robbers armed with a gun and knives boarded an anchored tanker. They took hostage the duty AB, tide his hands and forced him to lead them to the bridge. Once inside the bridge the robbers took hostage the duty officer and forced him to lead them to the Captain, Chief Engineer, third officer and bosun’s cabins. After looting the cabins, the robbers locked the crew in a cabin and escaped. Crew personal belongings, cash and ship’s properties stolen. 


The Douala Port Authority introduced the security measures a week after armed attackers kidnapped 17 seafarers.There have been at least two other incidents of seafarers being abducted in Cameroon waters in the first eight months of 2019.Piracy is a major problem in the Gulf of Guinea but until 2019 attacks off Douala were relatively rare.The decision to provided armed guards is a measure of the authorities’ concern.Ship operators have always been able to apply to the Cameroon government for guards, but the process was often slow and complicated.Crews should remain vigilant at anchor and berth in Cameroon.They should also exercise extreme caution off the coast and in the wider Gulf Of Guinea.All vessels trading in the region should consider ‘hardening measures’ to make illegal boarding less easy.

Reported and analysed by ICC and Gray Page