Dryad Maritime has warned of the biggest surge in West African pirate attacks “since Dryad’s records began”, following eight attacks in three months.
Piracy has dropped to its lowest level in six years, according to watchdog the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), as a result of the sharp decline in attacks off Somalia.
The captain and engineer of Marshall Islands flagged oil tanker Althea were released from captivity over the weekend following a hijacking by a Nigerian pirate gang.
The Ukranian captain and Greek engineer, who have been in captivity since 16 December, are reportedly in good health and are currently at Lagos city airport, pending their return to their families, according to statements by the Ukranian Foreign Ministry and the ship’s Piraeus-based manager Medtankers Management.
The Althea, carrying 18 crew, was attacked by 10 pirates, and the two hostages taken. Speaking to Reuters, an anonymous official at Medtankers noted that "They kidnapped the two men but did not touch the cargo or injure anyone."
Structural changes to trading patterns and a low orderbook give some cause for optimism for the battered VLCC market according to an analyst from Pareto Securities.