On 2 July the multi-purpose vessel Kota Budi (27.379 DWT) – shipowner Pacific International Lines (PIL) – was attacked by pirates, when the ship was around 150 nm from Cotonou, Benin. As a result, five crew members were kidnapped. All of them, including the captain, are residents of China. Information confirmed by the shipowner. This is reported by Seatrade Maritime News.
“PIL is currently working with the flag state, local authorities and contacts to establish the whereabouts of the missing master and crew, and is taking strenuous and urgent steps to ensure their well-being and safe return.” PIL reported.
Also, they added, the rest of the crew are safe. Measures have been taken to ensure their safety.
As maritime security consultants told, the ship was located there after calling the port in Varri, Nigeria, on June 24.
It must be said, this is the seventh incident in the waters off Benin this year. Dryad Global informed, nowadays the total number of kidnapped crew members near West Africa in 2020 is about 80 people. This year the number of attacks is 26% more than last year for the same quarter.
Unfortunately, pirate attacks offshore West Africa are still frequent incidents. In order to help in managing and preparing for such a situation, “The Best Management Practices West Africa” booklet was published in March 2020.