The container ship MOZART was attacked and boarded by pirates on January 23, 2021. At the time, the vessel was in the Gulf of Guinea, en route from Lagos, Nigeria to Cape Town, South Africa. It is unclear if anyone on board was injured. One Azerbaijani sailor tragically lost his life in the attack, with another 15 Turkish sailors having been kidnapped by the pirates. Three sailors remain on the vessel which is heading to port. All three are believed to have been injured in the attack. Reports indicate a well-orchestrated, violent attack by the pirates on the container ship. The sailors had sought refuge in the citadel, which is believed to have been breached by explosives.
The MOZART is a container ship built in 2007. It is operated by Hapag-Lloyd AG, and the registered owner is Bomar Mozart LLC. The shipmanager is Borealis Maritime Ltd. The vessel was managed by Boden Denizcilik AS.
Vessels in the region have experienced numerous pirate attacks in the past few months, which safe marine operators must adequately prepare for, or their crew members are at risk of serious injury or death. In 2020, a total of 130 maritime workers were kidnapped from vessels in the region in 22 separate attacks. Numerous other attacks that did not result in kidnappings also took place. The last few months are illustrative of the unrest in the region.
The container ship MAERSK CARDIFF was attacked and boarded by pirates on January 13, 2021. The container ship NILEDUTCH BREDA was attacked and boarded by pirates on January 4, 2021. The container ship MAERSK CADIZ was attacked by pirates on December 19, 2020. The LNG Tanker Ship LNG LAGOS II was attacked by pirates on December 18, 2020. On December 16, the cargo ship STEVIA was attacked and boarded, with 8 crew members having been kidnapped. At least 5 crew members were kidnapped from the Cap Saint Georges on December 10, 2020. There have been three recent attacks in just ten days on the tanker NEW RANGER: on December 5, the following day, and again on December 15, 2020. On December 2, 2020, pirates attacked the tanker ship LEVANTO. On November 30, 2020, pirates boarded the TANGO REY. On November 29, 2020, four crew members were kidnapped from the AGISILAOS. Ten crew members on board the general cargo ship Milan were kidnapped on November 26, 2020. On November 17, the Stelios K was attacked and hijacked by pirates. On November 17, the tanker ship SKS DONGGANG may have been attacked and boarded by pirates. On November 16, the AM Delta was attacked, and numerous crew members were kidnapped. On November 13, pirates attacked the ZHEN HUA 7. On November 7, pirates attacked the Torm Alexandra in the Gulf of Guinea.
It can be dangerous to work in any profession when safety considerations are not made. This is especially so when working on a vessel. Safe maritime companies must consider piracy precautions to ensure that their ships do not put the lives of their crew members at risk. The risks of catastrophic injury or kidnapping due to pirate activity is especially high in certain regions of the world that have historically had a problem ensuring the safety of vessels. When ship operators fail to account for the hazards posed by known pirate activity, catastrophic injuries or deaths can result. Safe companies must help their ships and crews avoid becoming victims of piracy. Before sailing in dangerous waters, safe maritime companies must perform at a bare minimum the following:
Conducting a risk assessment related to piracy;
Create and educate crewmembers regarding ship self-protection measures; and
Implement policies and procedures on what to do if attacked by pirates.
Our attorneys have extensive experience in maritime personal injury and wrongful death litigation and the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or those who have been seriously injured as a result of the negligence of another party. Spagnoletti Law Firm has lawyers admitted to practice in Texas, Florida and New York, and has handled maritime lawsuits throughout the country, including those involving pirate attacks.
The experienced maritime attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of piracy. There are strict and short time limits on making claims related to vessel accidents, so please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your rights.