Fishing Vessel IRIS-S Attacked by Pirates – Five Kidnapped

by | Jun 1, 2021 | Offshore accidents, Pirate Activity

The fishing vessel IRIS-S was attacked and boarded by pirates on May 31, 2021.  At the time, the vessel was in the Gulf of Guinea, southeast of Ghana.  The pirates kidnapped five crew members during the attack.  The vessel is owned and operated by D-H Fisheries.

There has been a dangerous increase in the number of pirate attacks across the world over the past few months.  Safe vessel operators must adequately prepare for the danger posed by piracy, 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 Gulf of Guinea in 22 separate attacks.

Five crew members were kidnapped from the fishing vessel ATLANTIC PRINCESS on May 19, 2021.The container ship CONTSHIP NEW was boarded by pirates on April 23, 2021.  The Dutch product tanker DAVIDE B was attacked and boarded by pirates on March 11, 2021. The fifteen crew members were released by the pirates in late April, 2021.  The container ship PACORA  was attacked and boarded by pirates on March 6, 2021, while the vessel was in the Gulf of Guayaquil, Ecuador. The tuna fishing ship LIANPENGYU was attacked and hijacked by pirates on February 8, 2021.  The tanker ship MARIA E was attacked and boarded by pirates on February 9, 2021.  The chemical tanker ship SEA PHANTOM was boarded by pirates on February 6, 2021.  The general cargo ship Vantage Wave was boarded by pirates on January 28, 2021, while northwest of Indonesia.

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 to learn more about your rights.