Pirates destroy Boskalis vessel Blue Marlin

The semisubmersible heavy transport vessel Blue Marlin of Dutch offshore contractor Boskalis was attacked by pirates on Sunday. The crew of the vessel successfully hid in the ship’s citadel and remains unharmed, but the pirates did destroy the vessel’s bridge. 

The Blue Marlin was on its way to Malta after offloading cargo in the waters Equatorial Guinea. The vessel was approximately 80 nautical miles offshore when armed pirates approached the ship with a zodiac and entered the Blue Marlin.

The vessels crew hid in the citadel and alarmed both the local navy forces and NATO mission MDAT-GoG (Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade – Gulf of Guinea), who immediately dispatched two helicopters and two frigates, one of the navy of Equatorial Guinea and one of the Spanish navy, which is part of the NATO mission. 

Monday morning at daylight, the Blue Marlin was boarded and fully searched by the navy of Equatorial Guinea and Spain. The pirates had left the ship and the crew was freed from the citadel in good health. The bridge of the vessel, however, was substantially damaged as the pirates had shot their guns several times while on board, preventing the ship from being sailable. The vessel is currently approximately 40 miles offshore Equatorial Guinea, in international waters.

The navy of Equatorial Guinee has left five armed guards on board to protect the Blue Marlin. Boskalis has also mobilized an oceangoing tug to take the Blue Marlin to a safe location.

“I want to express my compliments to our crew for their extremely professional and adequate actions in this life-threatening situation. I am extremely grateful and in particular thankful to the navy of Equatorial Guinea for their quick and decisive response, as well as to the Spanish navy for their assistance via MDAT-GoG. Because of their actions, this hijacking could be ended quickly and our colleagues were brought into safety,” Boskalis CEO Peter Berdowski said.

Images courtesy of Estado Mayor de la Defensa (Spanish Navy Forces). 

Author: Tobias Pieffers

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