Two ships attacked within just hours of each other. Pirates return to the Gulf of Guinea after a number of relatively calm months.
On October 25th, the attackers first boarded the MSC Lucia, on its way to Douala, Cameroon, causing panic among crew members. The intervention of a helicopter sent by a Russian Navy anti-submarine warship, the Kulavov, the first to receive distress signals, led the pirates to head off in a speedboat.
A few hours after the MSC Lucia incident, other pirates boarded the Montet Tide, a Vanuatu-flagged support vessel which, at the time of the attack, was 50 miles off Bioko Island, near the Nigerian-Cameroon border. The pirates kidnapped three crew members.
The two attacks mark the end of a long period of stability in the Gulf of Guinea. In the first nine months of the year, there were only 28 incidents in the area, one of the lowest figures since 1994.
Translation by Giles Foster