Pirates have launched a fresh attack against a vessel in the Gulf of Guinea, injuring two crew members less than three months after the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) launched its much-touted Deep Blue project.
The Deep Blue project, which cost Nigeria a whopping USD195 million (about N80 billion), was touted by NIMASA and the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, as the answer to piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
Both Amaechi and the Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, assured the maritime community that the project would end piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. Jamoh had described the project as “mission accomplished”.
The project, also called the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 10, 2021.
But on Sunday, September 5, the daredevil pirates struck again as they successfully attacked an offshore supply vessel and injured two crew members in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Gabon.
The International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC), which confirmed the attack, said another crew member has been reported missing.
According to the IMB PRC report, five persons in a speed boat armed with guns approached, fired upon and boarded the offshore supply ship, which was at anchorage.
“The alarm was raised and crew members secured themselves in the ship, but two crew were injured due to the firing and required hospitalization,” the report said.