The Nigerian Navy Ship NWAMBA has rescued a merchant Tanker vessel with call sign MT VECTIS OSPREY from sea pirates who attacked her 20 nautical miles offshore of Bonny. The rescue operation was in response to a timely alert by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) to the Naval Regional Maritime Awareness Centre (RMAC). Consequently, the war ship was promptly deployed to track down and rescue the vessel.
The British flagged MT VECTIS OSPREY departed Bonny offshore terminal and came under pirate attack on Wednesday 17 August 2016. NNS NWAMBA engaged the attackers on approaching the vessel which made them to abandon their mission due to superior fire power. To this end, Naval special forces onboard the war ship embarked and rescued the crew who locked up themselves in a citadel in the merchant tanker.
The crew and cargo of MT VECTIS OSPREY are safe while investigation has also commenced in order to unravel the circumstances of the attempted hijack, especially with regard to the current trend of involvement of crew members in attacks on their own vessels. Additionally, Ship owners are hereby advised to profile their crew before embarking them onboard to avoid situations in which some disgruntled crew members stage-manage attacks on their own vessels.
Consequently, the Nigerian Navy wishes to seize this opportunity to remind the public, particularly those operating in the maritime environment that the Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas is poised to eliminate all forms of criminal activities in the maritime domain, hence several initiatives have been made in this regard. To mention a few, the initiatives are the conduct of operation TSARE TEKU, Choke point regime and the deployment of capital ships for daily patrol. It is worthy to note that these measures have drastically reduced incidents of sea piracy and other crimes on our territorial waters.
In view of the foregoing, you are please requested to publish this clarification for public awareness.
Thank you for your usual co-operation.
CHRISTIAN ODOGWU EZEKOBE
Director of Information