Russian navies helped Nigeria foil an attack on a ship in the Gulf of Guinea on Monday.
DAILY POST has learned that the Russian Navy responded to distress calls from MSC Lucia and the Nigerian Navy.
They rushed to the scene from Vice-Admiral Kulakov who is currently operating in the Gulf of Guinea for a three-week deployment.
A number of pirates had boarded the container ship 86 nautical miles southwest of the Agbami offshore oil terminal.
Built in 1985, the Panamanian-flagged Lucia, measuring 189 meters in length and 1,951 TEU, called at the port of San Pedro in Côte d’Ivoire last week, then moved to Lomé on October 22.
The ship left the Togolese capital on the 24th and headed southeast across the Gulf of Guinea.
According to AIS data provided by Pole Star, on the morning of the 25th, about 150 nautical miles northwest of Sao Tome, the MSC Lucia slowed down by 14 knots and came to a stop.
Automatic Identification System (AIS) AIS is a system used by ships and vessels for identification at sea.
A statement from the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that Vice Admiral Kulakov responded to an SOS.
The crew of the Lucia hid in the engine room after reporting gunmen were aboard a speedboat.
Kulakov, a Udaloy-class destroyer, dispatched a Kamov Ka-27PS helicopter carrying sea soldiers.
The statement said the pirates “boarded a high speed boat and headed for the coast at full speed” within sight of the war helicopter.
The ministry released images of the ship, the fleeing pirates and their boat. Lucia continued her journey under protection.
Russia is on the list of the top ten countries with the largest navies in the world in terms of active naval assets and tonnage.
Nigeria and West African countries have been urged to increase surveillance of their territories.
In its latest report, ICC’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB) acknowledged that the number of attacks on ships worldwide has fallen to its lowest in decades.
Nigeria reported four incidents in the first nine months of 2021, up from 17 in 2020 and 41 in 2018.
Michael Howlett, Director, ICC IMB commended the maritime authorities for their efforts to reduce incidents in the Gulf of Guinea.
“However, sustained efforts must be made to ensure the continued safety of seafarers as they transport essential cargo throughout the region.
“Coastal states need to redouble their coordination and security measures to ensure that incidents of piracy and armed robbery continue to decrease,” Howlett said.