Container Ship TONSBERG Boarded by Pirates – Six Abducted

by | Dec 16, 2021 | Maritime Law, Pirate Activity

The container ship TONSBERG was attacked and boarded by pirates on December 13, 2021.  At the time, the vessel was in the Gulf of Guinea, en route from Cameroon to Cotonou, Benin.  Reports indicate that pirates boarded the vessel and kidnapped six crew members.  The six crew members are believed to be Polish, Ukrainian and Filipino citizens.  At least one crew member is believed to have been injured in the attack.  Following the kidnapping, the pirate ship was pursued by a Dutch helicopter in the region, but the chase called off once the ship entered Nigerian waters.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by this incident.

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.

The container ship MSC LUCIA was attacked and boarded by pirates on October 25, 2021.  The offshore supply vessel MONTET TIDE was attacked by pirates on October 25, 2021.  The offshore supply vessel TAMPEN was attacked and boarded by pirates on September 5, 2021.  The product tanker MERCER STREET was attacked by pirates on July 29, 2021.  The offshore oil platform SANDUNGA was attacked by pirates on July 19, 2021.  The container ship CSAV TYNDALL was attacked by pirates on July 3, 2021.

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.