Blue Marlin suffers damage during hijack offshore West Africa

A coordinated response by the navies of Equatorial Guinea and Spain has ended the hijacking of the heavy transport vessel Blue Marlin.

May 8th, 2019

Offshore staff

PAPENDRECHT, the Netherlands – A coordinated response by the navies of Equatorial Guinea and Spain has ended the hijacking of the heavy transport vessel Blue Marlin.

According to owner Boskalis, the vessel had been hijacked and boarded last Sunday by armed pirates around 80 nautical mi offshore Equatorial Guinea.

The vessel had been sailing north to Malta after unloading a cargo in Equatorial Guinean waters.

When the pirates started to come onboard, the Blue Marlin’s 20 crew members managed to secure themselves in the ‘citadel,’ a secured space in the vessel equipped with communications and emergency rations.

Once the local authorities and the NATO mission MDAT-GoG (Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade - Gulf of Guinea) had been alerted, two helicopters were mobilized from Equatorial Guinea followed by one of the country’s naval vessels and another from the Spanish navy, part of the MDAT-GoG mission.

Early on Monday morning the teams boarded the vessel and conducted a search but found no pirates.

Although the crew were all were in good health, the pirates fired shots several times during their time onboard causing damage on the bridge that prevented the ship from being sailable. It is currently around 40 mi (64 km) off Equatorial Guinea, in international waters.

One of the naval vessels left five armed guards on board to protect the Blue Marlin, and Boskalis has now mobilized an oceangoing tug to take the vessel to a safe location.

05/08/2019

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