An oil and chemical tanker with 19 crewmembers onboard was reported missing by its managers on Wednesday, August 22. Communication with the tanker was reportedly lost at 02:00 (local time) on Tuesday, August 14, when the ship was 27 km (17 mi) from the capital Libreville. The ship is suspected to have been taken by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea. According to ship managers, no further contact has been made with the vessel as of Wednesday.
There is a high risk of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. According to the US Maritime Administration (MARAD), nearly 100 incidents of piracy and armed robbery were reported in the Gulf of Guinea in 2017; 29 kidnappings were also reported at sea in the area in 2017.
Maritime travelers in region are advised to remain vigilant for the approach of suspicious ships while aboard vessels, monitor developments to the regional security environment, and report all incidents to the nearest coastal state and flag state authorities. Pirates and other criminals are often armed; do not resist if confronted.
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