ILO Expert Raises Alarm, Condemns Incessant Pirate Attacks On Trawler Vessels | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


ILO Expert Raises Alarm, Condemns Incessant Pirate Attacks On Trawler Vessels

Posted: Jan 28, 2016 at 11:28 am   /   by   /   comments (0)
By Andrew Utulu

An expert and International Labour Organisation consultant,    Captain Thomas Kemewerigha has condemned unequivocally the rate of  incessant attacks on trawler vessels in the Niger Delta region.
The Captain who raised the alarm during the week in Lagos at a round table meeting with maritime journalists under the aegis of Maritime Correspondent Organisation of Nigeria (MARCON), said that if drastic measures are not taken, activities of hoodlums will continue to disrupt fishing activities and life of the seafarers.

Captain Kemewerigha stressed the need for the Nigerian government look beyond attacks on pipeline installations in the region, even as he noted that human lives at sea is at risk. 

According to him, there has been precisely seven attacks on fishing trawlers within the Bayelsa and Rivers States coast in the last ten days, even as he lampooned the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Navy for being docile in their operations.

The former President, Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association reiterated that the area of major concern within the nation’s territory waters within Latitude 04*.16,000 nautical miles,long.005*00.000E to latitude.

The expert added that the prone areas of attack within the south south coast includes: Middleton Rivers,Kulama rivers, Fish town rivers, Akassa rivers , Pennington rivers and Brass river offshore shores.

He said that those aforementioned areas have turned to be free areas for sea pirate to show their abilities on defenseless seafarers by way of forcefully collecting their valuable.

He alleged that sea robbers and pirates in recent time had  killed  and maimed sailors on board fishing trawlers , container vessels and offshore supply vessels.

Speaking further he said”various pirate attacks had been experienced since on 14th of January 2016 till date”

“Within the mentioned period over seven attacks has been recorded on fishing vessels and vessels working for Chevron Nigeria Limited to mention but a few”

“Pirates are having a field day on these vessels because the areas are not patrolled by the Nigerian Navy or NIMASA, hence living the seafarers on board these vessels defenseless,which has in some cases led to loss of lives and valuable properties of seafarers as earlier mentioned”

“We strongly appeal to the federal government to instruct as a matter of urgency the Navy, NIMASA and other relevant authorities to immediately commence an efficient patrolling of these areas to avert the killing of defenseless seafarers who are going about their legal duties”

Kemewerigha also revealed that the incessant attack on such craft has been reported International Maritime Bureau (IMB) piracy reporting centre for the purpose to the send the signal on how volatile the Bayelsa Rivers states coast is at the moment.

The ILO expert further pointed out that “we draw the attention of the federal government of Nigeria, the Navy and NIMASA who are saddled with the responsibility of policing our territorial waters to look into incessant piracy attack on vessels within our territorial waters”, he added.