Posted on March 05, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
Maltese-flagged Chemical/Oil product tanker, Histria Ivory, was transiting south of Lome, Togo when she was attacked by pirates. As a result of the attack, three crew members were kidnapped.
The incident occurred at approximately 19:30 pm, in the evening on March 3rd.
The Ivory was approximately 20 miles off Lome, Togo, having just left the port, when the pirates attacked.
The vessel had a crew of 21 seafarers onboard the vessel, all Romanian nationals.
Most of them managed to muster at the ship’s Citadel, but three seafarers were ultimately kidnapped.
The pirates proceeded to flee the scene after the successful kidnapping.
Following the attack, local authorities arrived on the scene and escorted the Histria Ivory to a safe anchorage.
The Histria Ivory is owned/managed by Romanian shipping company, HISTRIA SHIPMANAGEMENT SRL operating out of Constanta.
According to Romania’s Free Trade Union of Navigators (SLN) and the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) the vessel was damaged during the attack and will be in need of repairs, but none of the crewmembers were injured in the process.
The Free Trade Union of Navigators warns that in the Gulf of Guinea, the rate of pirate incidents is increasing in intensity, which affects seafarers and global shipping. In high-risk areas, it is necessary to increase vigilance on the bridge and tune radar for small distances to prevent any attempted attack to succeed. Also, the piracy procedures must be well received by each crewmember and followed precisely in case of piracy incidents,” said SLN in a statement.
Following the event, the MAE proceeded to set up a crisis cell in order to expedite the return of the kidnapped seafarers.
“The Foreign Affairs Ministry, through the Romanian Embassy in Abuja, is following the events after the incident in the territorial waters of Togo on March 3, 2019, in which a ship under Malta’s pavilion was involved. The representatives of the diplomatic mission have made steps to the local authorities, in emergency, for exchange of information. The Foreign Minister has decided to activate a crisis cell which, through the Romanian Embassy in Abuja, is monitoring the situation and is in constant contact with the local authorities, with the ship-owner and with the relevant authorities,” said a MAE representative in a statement.