Royal Boskalis Westminster’s heavy transport vessel Blue Marlin was hijacked on May 5, 2019 offshore Equatorial Guinea.
Blue Marlin departed the African country last Sunday after unloading cargo, and was heading to Malta. The ship was subsequently boarded by several armed pirates.
Boskalis reports that the crew quickly secured themselves in the vessel’s citadel, where they were able to communicate with various emergency authorities. Upon alerting the local authorities, two helicopters were mobilised from Equatorial Guinea, followed by navy vessels.
By Monday morning, Blue Marlin had been boarded and fully searched by the navy of Equatorial Guinea and Spain. No pirates were found and the crew was freed from the citadel. According to Boskalis, all the crew members are in good health.
However, the pirates fired several shots during their time aboard the vessel and caused substantial material damage on the bridge, rendering the ship unsailable.
Boskalis has mobilised an oceangoing tug to take Blue Marlin to a safe location.
Earlier this year, the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) called on the European Union, China and the USA to join forces and support counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Guinea.
According to BIMCO, at the time of writing in January, around 40 ships had been attacked in the Gulf of Guinea in the past 12 months.