Dutch heavy lift ship attacked, freed by Spanish Navy UPDATE

UPDATE: Ship’s bridge and control said to be heavily damaged by pirates, ship is disabled, waiting for towage.

Heavy load carrier BLUE MARLIN was attacked and boarded by 7 armed pirates at around 1200 UTC May 5 in vicinity 03 00N 007 50E, Gulf of Guinea, SW of Luba port, Bioko island, Equatorial Guinea. The ship left Luba in the morning May 5, bound for Valetta, Malta.

Master activated SSAS, all 20 crew mustered in citadel. Pirates demanded from crew via PA to surrender, and give to pirates all money and valuables seamen have. Crew remained in citadel, pirates found a hole and fired through it into citadel, but luckily, without injuring anyone.

Meanwhile, Operations and Surveillance Center of the Navy (COVAM), alerted by ship’s distress signal, ordered patrol boat of Spanish Navy SERVIOLA P-71, deployed in international Navy security mission in Gulf of Guinea, to free hijacked ship.
In the morning May 6 spec ops team boarded BLUE MARLIN, and freed the ship. It is not known, if pirates were seized, or they managed to flee.

As of 0130 UTC May 7, BLUE MARLIN was adrift near attack site, most probably clearing up mess and preparing to resume voyage. Or maybe, she’ll call nearest port for investigation. Reportedly, military team is still on board.

Heavy Load Carrier BLUE MARLIN, IMO 9186338, dwt 76061, built 2000, flag Malta, manager DOCKWISE SHIPPING BV, Netherlands.

Author

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My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.