How Navy foiled hijack of Hanze Kochi

How Navy foiled hijack of Hanze Kochi

The Nigerian Navy said that it has prevented  the hijack of Hanze Kochi, a marine chemical tanker by sea robbers in the Gulf of Guinea.

The ship is owned by Netherlands company Hanzevast Shipping.

Navy  Director of Information, Commodore Christian Ezekobe said that operatives of the Nigerian Navy successfully repelled the attack by the  sea robbers on the marine tanker en-route Lagos from Port Harcourt.

“The attackers made spirited efforts to board the vessel 50 nautical miles off Bayelsa on Sept. 16, at about 0250 hrs but were heavily engaged and overpowered in a gun duel by naval personnel,” Ezekobe said in the statement.

Maritime Herald further described the attempted hijack and how the Nigerian Navy came to the rescue:

“A group of armed men approached the vessel in early morning by fast boat. The duty officer raised alarm for piracy attack and all the crew locked in the citadel. A distress call was sent to the Nigerian navy.

“The pirates boarded the ship and took control, but the navy sent two boats with guards. The pirates robbed some of the crew rooms, but had no time due to approaching navy guards.

“They abandoned chemical tanker Hanze Kochi some minutes later and fled to the shore. The Nigerian navy freed the vessel and crew. No injuries were reported and vessel resumed voyage to Lagos, where anchored a few hours later.

“The investigation for the root cause of the accident is under way. There were no damages and injuries reported. The pirates had no time to steal much from the crew.

” The vessel has overall length of 140.95 m, moulded beam of 19.60 m and maximum draft of 5.50 m. The deadweight of the tanker is 12,279 DWT and the gross tonnage is 7,446 GRT. The ship was built in 2007 by Volharding Shipyard in Hoogezand, Netherlands. The owner and operator of chemical tanker Hanze Kochi is Netherlands company Hanzevast Shipping.”

Ezekobe also reported that a patrol team deployed by FOB Bonny in Riversarrested Marine Vessel (MV) FB PERE IPAMO at Shell Slot Jetty in Bonny for alleged involvement in illegal bunkering activities.

“At the time of the arrest, on Sept. 14, the vessel was carrying about 500 tonnes of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO).

“Similarly, on Sept. 17, a patrol team deployed by NNS DELTA conducted anti-crude oil theft operations in which two illegal refinery sites were raided,” he said.

He explained that the sites were located at Lakpaje and Ubeje Creeks in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta.

“During the raid, the patrol team destroyed about 18,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil and 15,000 litres of suspected refined AGO.

“The feat achieved by the Nigerian Navy in cracking down the activities of the criminals in the maritime domain is a pointer that there is no hiding place for any criminal,” the director said.

He reiterated the commitment of the service to safeguarding the nation’s maritime environment.