General cargo ship RIO MITONG was attacked by pirates at 0200 UTC May 9 at Malabo Anchorage, Equatorial Guinea, Bioko Island, Gulf of Guinea. According to Dryad Global, two crew, believed to be of Russian and Ukrainian nationalities, were kidnapped. the rest of crew are said to be safe. The ship moved to Malabo Port and was berthed at around 0800 UTC. The ship is engaged in unknown kind of works in Malabo waters since Jun 2019, according to her AIS records.
UPDATE May 10: Research ship was also attacked, 2 Russians kidnapped http://www.maritimebulletin.net/2020/05/10/research-ship-attacked-two-russians-kidnapped/
Piracy, especially violent piracy and kidnapping, are on the rise and will continue rising. The UN is expecting mass starvation in third world countries, and is doing everything it can for this grim forecast to come true. If nations globally, and world economy, aren’t given a breath of air some time very soon, if that slow strangling of economy, called “pandemic fight”, continues, piracy will become a pandemic – a real one, not a virus hoax. Nothing can effectively defend the ships and the crews, except private armed guards on board. But UN/IMO/ITF and so on, will do whatever it takes, not to allow mass private guards deployment. Maybe it’s high time to leave merchant marine, for good, with so many hostile forces around, from UN/IMO to pirates to insane governments.
General cargo ship RIO MITONG (since 2017), IMO 9039975, dwt 8646, built 1993, flag Comoros.