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Gulf of Guinea Update on piracy issues and an important anti-piracy development

INTERCARGO has provided us with the following information.

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Please refer to Item 4 below for an important announcement about the future of MTISC-GOG (Gulf of Guinea) and new FR/UK reporting centre.

1.General analysis

The webpage at https://www.icc-ccs.org/piracy-reporting-centre/live-piracy-report (the IMB ICC Live Piracy & Armed Robbery Report 2016) shows 90 cases of attacks in 2015.

In addition to the website of IMB ICC, UKMTO circulates weekly update on piracy issues mainly for the Indian Ocean and Somalia regions. You may contact them for the update via:

Commander Peter Harriman Royal Navy | Officer-in-Charge, UKMTO | British Embassy Dubai, PO Box 65 | Mil Address - Naval Party 1023, BFPO 490

*email: dubai-OiC@ukmto.org | (Office: +971(0)43094268)|(Mobile: +971(0)505545477)|(Fax: +971(0)43094254)|(ftn: 8485 4266)

2. Nigeria and Gulf of Guinea

The waters of Nigeria and Gulf of Guinea have been the focuses in 2016. It was reported on 6 Jun 2016 that:

A laden oil tanker reported that a mother vessel with 2 skiffs on each side of the vessel, was chasing the tanker in pos: 05.22.7 N & 002.24.3 E at 16:40 UTC. It was a grey hull mother vessel around 60 meters long with 2 black skiffs, one at sea level and the other housed. Evasive manoeuvres were carried out at maximum speed, water jet and fog horn were being used, and after 20 minutes, the vessel gave up the chase. All crew members are safe.

Pirate activity in the Gulf of Guinea:

Kidnapping. Kidnap for Ransom against merchant vessels has significantly increased in areas off of the Niger Delta: at least 16 of the kidnapping victims so far in this year are commercial seafarers.

Violence. Pirates are becoming more violent and aggressive and often initiate attacks by firing at the bridge to intimidate the crew prior to boarding.

Range. Pirates' operational range has increasing: several incidents occurred more than 50nm from the Nigerian coast and the MV Leon Dias incident occurred at over 100nm.

Adaptation. The Pirates seem to be exploring a new tactics and expanded range: the recently hijacked M/V Maximus, taken off of Abidjan over 600nm from the Niger Delta is remarkably similar to the F/V Lu Rong Yuan Yu 917 attack on 30 Jan, 2015.

3. New Anti-piracy Measures in West Africa - Important announcement about the future of MTISC-GOG and new FR/UK reporting centre

The Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre - Gulf of Guinea (MTISC-GoG, http://mtisc-gog.org/ ) will close before end of Jun 2016 following the successful conclusion of the Pilot Project, and France and the United Kingdom will commence a new virtual reporting centre, allowing the mission established by the MTISC to continue.

Over the past months, together with key stakeholders, OCIMF has carefully reviewed the outcomes of the MTISC-GoG Pilot Project, with the aim of establishing a sustainable reporting programme. The French and UK authorities, taking into account both their own experience and the role of MTISC-GoG in the region, have decided to offer a new contribution to the maritime information network in the Gulf of Guinea through a virtual reporting centre.

New FR/UK Centre - MDAT-GoG

The new FR/UK Centre, called Marine Domain Awareness for Trade - Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GoG), will commence operations at 0800 GMT on 20th June 2016. MDAT-GoG will be operated by the Navies of France and the United Kingdom from centres in Brest, France, and in Portsmouth, England. MDAT-GoG contact details:

Email: watchkeepers@mdat-gog.org

Telephone: +33985228888

Calls to this number will be answered either in Brest or in Portsmouth.

Maritime Security Chart

A PDF version of the new chart (Q6114 Edition 2) is attached herewith for reference. Notice to Mariners will provide details of the electronic chart and a printed version will be available at the end of June.

MTISC-GoG website

The MTISC-GoG website will be taken down at 0800 GMT on 20th June and replaced with a holding page providing the contact details for the new FR/UK structure.

MTISC-GoG Maritime Security Guidance (MSG)

MSG will no longer be supported or updated after 20th June and will be withdrawn from the OCIMF and MTISC-GoG websites.

Emails to MTISC-GoG to be forwarded to the new FR/UK Centre

To help with the transition of reporting to the new FR/UK reporting structure, MTISC-GoG began forwarding copies of reporting emails from vessels to the new FR/UK structure at 0800GMT on 14th June. Companies/vessels were requested to advise if they did not want to have their emails forwarded.

If companies do not give permission for their emails to be forwarded they are requested to advise MTISC-GoG as soon as possible otherwise no action is required.

FR/UK authorities have confirmed that all emails forwarded to FR/UK centre during this period will not be forwarded to any third party and will be deleted by 17th July.

Data Security

MTISC-GoG can confirm all data provided to the centre during its course of operation will be deleted.

MTISC-GoG would like to thank all those who have reported to the Centre for their support over the last two years.

4.Comments and views

More information about piracy issues refers to INTERCARGO webpage at http://www.intercargo.org/en/work/piracy.html.

Comments and views on piracy issues from Members are welcome and appreciated

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Member Alert is published by The Swedish Club as a service to members. While the information is believed correct, the Club cannot assume responsibility for completeness or accuracy.

Source: Swedish Club