Pirates kidnapped 11 crew members - eight Polish nationals, one Ukrainian, and two Filipinos - after attacking a ship in Nigerian waters in the Gulf of Guinea on Saturday, October 27. The incident reportedly occurred some 65 km (40 nautical mi) off the Nigerian coast. Nine other crew members remained on board and were reportedly unharmed. The Nigerian navy and maritime police have announced that they will open an investigation into the incident. Further details are still emerging. Additional incidents of piracy and kidnapping are possible in the Gulf of Guinea in the near-term.
Furthermore, the Swiss authorities have announced that 12 crew members of a Swiss ship abducted on September 22 in Nigerian waters were released on October 26.
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, including 29 abductions, were reported in the area in 2017.
Maritime travelers in the 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 authorities. Pirates and other criminals are often armed; do not resist if confronted.
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