WEST AFRICA – With rougher weather of late and increased vigilance and upgraded defences on behalf of merchantmen the number if pirate attacks in the Indian Ocean has declined of late. The safer waters of the Gulf of Guinea however have seen an increased threat and this week a pirate raid was made on the German owned container ship Olivia at around 04:00 hours on the 15th July.
At the request of the Handy Shipping Guide the owners, Bremen based Herm. Dauelsberg, issued a statement saying the vessel was boarded by a group of armed pirates some 20 nautical miles off Conakry who proceeded to rob the crew of valuables. Herm. Dauelsberg confirms that all seafarers on board Olivia are safe and accounted for and that there were no injuries to the crew. Following the attack, the crew has resumed command of the vessel which has now proceeded on her voyage to North Africa.
The Olivia is a 20,000+ dwt box carrier flagged in Liberia and built in 1995. The fact that the pirates did not take control of the vessel typifies the type of attack most often seen in this particular region as compared to East Africa and, although serious and extremely frightening for the crew, compares well with the savagery of the usual Somali piracy incidents.
Immediately after the incident the owner notified authorities and relevant parties and would like to state publicly its delight that the seafarers are safe and would like to thank the crew for their handling of the situation.