Archive for February 2017

Nigerian Pirates Kidnap Crew of German-Owned Freighter   1 comment

pirFile image

By MarEx 

On Tuesday, the Russian embassy in Nigeria confirmed that pirates have kidnapped eight seafarers from the geared cargo vessel BBC Caribbean. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the attack occurred on February 5 in Nigerian waters, and that seven Russian nationals and one Ukrainian were taken hostage.

The Caribbean is a 6,000 dwt freighter operated by Briese Schiffahrt, a German heavy lift firm. Her AIS signal was last received by a shore station on Saturday, and it showed her off the island of Bioko, Equatorial Guinea. She had just departed Cameroon and was bound for Las Palmas.

Pavel Fedulov, the director of a Briese Shiffart office in St. Petersburg, told Russian outlet RBC that “the armed pirates approached [the vessel] in a boat, captured the crew and left on the boat at the direction of the Nigerian shores.”

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that “consuls in Hamburg and Nigeria are taking measures for the release of the captured citizen of Ukraine.” A consul official told Arab News that the kidnappers have not yet made any demands, and the location of the seafarers is not known.

The pirate attack was far from the only one in the Gulf of Guinea in recent days. The Nigerian Navy reported Wednesday that it had defended the tankers Gaz Providence and Rio Spirit from hijacking attempts this week – including two attacks on the Spirit.

Posted February 11, 2017 by rrts in -NEWS

Flashlight “Bomb” Prompts Ferry Evacuation   1 comment

skaneFile image courtesy Stena

By MarEx 

On Thursday, Stena Line evacuated the ropax ferry Skåne after a cleaning crew found a suspected explosive device on board.

The Skåne was just about to depart Trelleborg when a suspicious-looking small red box was found in one of the vessel’s cabins; the unknown object reportedly had cables attached to it. The captain called the police, and the crew sounded the alarm and began to offload passengers.

The ferry was due to depart at 2200 hours. The bomb squad finished evaluating the suspected device at 0040 hours Friday, and determined that it was harmless: The unidentified object was in fact a solar-powered flashlight.

“The police say that we did the right to call them,” said Stena Line spokesman Jesper Waltersson, speaking to Ystads Allehanda. “For us, safety is the most important.”

About 80 passengers were taken to the ferry terminal, some leaving their cars aboard. The crew began to reload the ship toward 0100 and expected a departure towards 0200. Passengers were offered a buffet meal when they returned on board.

Bomb scares and threats are not entirely unusual for ferry operators like Stena. Last year, the Corsica ferry at Marseille had to be evacuated after passengers reported that they had heard an explosion on board. Similarly, cross-Channel ferry operations out of Portsmouth Harbour had to be suspended briefly in November when a piece of unexploded ordnance from WWII was found on the seabed.

The abundance of caution operators use when confronting these risks is borne out of experience, as not all bomb scares turn out to be false alarms: the Superferry 14 bombing in 2004 was the world’s deadliest terrorist attack at sea, resulting in the death of 116 people.

Posted February 6, 2017 by rrts in -NEWS