German ship owner and shipping company, MC-Schiffahrt, has posted a message on its website to report an attack on one of its vessels:
“It is with deep regret and great concern to inform that our vessel MarMalaita was attacked by pirates 14th August between 23.00h and 24.00h local time on the anchorage of Douala / Cameroon.
A group of pirates boarded the vessel and abducted 8 of our 12 crewmembers from the vessel.”
MC-Schiffahrt has assembled its emergency response team and is working to to deal with the case, in cooperation with all relevant authorities and crew managers.
Russia’s foreign ministry says some of the crew members are Russian and it is working with MC-Schiffahrt and the authorities to attain their safe release.
In a separate incident on August 15, nine crew were abducted by pirates from a Greek bulk carrier also anchored at Douala. There were a total of 21 crew members onboard the bulker.
Douala port officials say the attacks are identical and therefore believe the same group of pirates are responsible for both.
More than 80% of piracy attacks so far this year have occurred off the coast of West Africa and the International Maritime Bureau has issued a warning for all ships sailing in the region to take extra precautions.
The Conflict in Cameroon’s two restive regions is draining security resources from the protection of the Gulf of Guinea a strategic maritime route for oil and gas exporters.