Navy Intercepts ‘Fleeing’ Vessel, 11 Crew Men Off Calabar Waters

Navy

The Nigerian Navy has arrested MV BLU-SHARK off Calabar waters with 11 crew men while fleeing from Gabonese authorities.

A statement by the Director Information Naval Headquarters, Commodore Augustine Adams-Aliu stated that the arrest followed an alert message on 2 May 2024, by the Multinational Maritime Co-ordination Center Zone D for a search and possible arrest of MV BLU-SHARK with IMO number 8767783.

He said the vessel was alleged to have escaped from Port Gentil Gabon on 2 May 2024 at about 11:35pm without obtaining necessary customs clearance documents from the Gabonese maritime, judicial and customs authorities.

Cdre Adams-Aliu said following the alert, the Nigerian Navy (NN) using her Maritime Domain Awareness facilities vectored Nigerian Navy Ship OSE (NNS OSE) to intercept and arrest the vessel.

“NNS OSE successfully arrested the vessel at about 1152hours on 6 May 2024 at Latitude 040 49 929’E, Longitude 008017 602’E, off Calabar waters.

“The arrest of MV BLU-SHARK is part of existing collaborative efforts between regional maritime security agencies in the Gulf of Guinea under the Yaoundé Code of Conduct on Maritime Security in the Region,” he said.

Adams-Aliu added that the arrest was in line with the Chief of Naval Staff’s strategic efforts towards a safe and secure maritime environment in enhancing the nation’s blue economy.

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“The NN will conduct preliminary investigations to ascertain the veracity of the allegation with a view to handling the vessel in line with the dictates of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct,” the statement added.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla commended the officers and ratings of NNS OSE for their professionalism in apprehending the alleged fleeing vessel.

Ogalla also reiterated the Navy’s commitment to collaborating with neighbouring countries to combat transnational maritime crimes in the region.

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