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Incident Type: Suspicious Approach
Location: Gulf of Guinea
Incident Date: 11 January 2023, 0300 LT
Lat/Long: 0° 45' 0.00" N – 6° 19' 60.00"E
The IMB have received a report that a vessel was approached whilst underway approximately 27nm Northwest of Sao Tome and Principe. The report states that two skiffs approached the vessel, the Master increased speed and took evasive actions, which resulted in the two skiffs aborting their approach. The vessel and crew are reported safe.
UPDATE: The MDAT-GoG have received a further report confirming that the vessel involved was a cargo vessel. The report also states that the suspicious vessels were spotted on radar and approached to within 0.5nm. The suspicious vessels did not attempt to change course or increase speed when the cargo vessel took evasive action. The MDAT-GoG have confirmed that they are treating the incident as a "non-event".
This is the first incident to occur in the vicinity of Sao Tome and Principe, as well as the wider Gulf of Guinea region this year. It is the third incident, however, to occur in the Gulf of Guinea in the past month and underscores the continuing risk to vessels that exists in the region.
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