An offshore supply vessel was reportedly attacked offshore Mexico on Friday, July 24, in an incident that was described as a “violent armed boarding and robbery of personal belongings.”
The maritime safety intelligence company Dryad said Monday that the offshore supply vessel Natalie was boarded while conducting operations in the vicinity of the ODIN Offshore platform 12nm NE of Coatzacoalcos.
“It is understood that the vessel was boarded early morning within hours of darkness. A channel 16 broadcast received from the vessel stated “We would like to inform you that at this moment pirates are getting on board the ship NATALIE which is near the ODIN platform,” Dryad said.
Dryad further cited reports which said that the crew aboard the 1982-built offshore vessel was subjected to violent armed boarding and robbery of personal belongings.
“There is no mention as yet of any personnel injured, kidnapped, or theft of cargo,” Dryad said.
Dryad has said that 2020 has seen a significant increase in maritime crime and piracy in the waters offshore the Campeche, Tabasco, and Veracruz states in Mexico.
Armed criminal groups have been reported to target and rob commercial vessels, oil platforms, and offshore supply vessels in the Bay of Campeche area in the southern Gulf of Mexico.
The US Maritime Administration has recently issued an advisory, 2020-008-Southern Gulf of Mexico-Vessel Attacks, detailing such events, and actions to be taken in the event of piracy and armed robbery incidents in the region.
Per Dryad, reporting indicates that 20 fishing vessels and 35 oil platforms and offshore supply vessels that have been targeted since January 2018 in the Bay of Campeche area of the southern Gulf of Mexico.,
It is assessed that despite the increase in reporting, there is assessed to be a significant degree of under-reporting concerning incidents not involving attacks against large commercial vessels.
“Attacks recorded to date have involved the discharge of firearms, crew injuries, hostage-taking, and theft. At least five of these attacks occurred in April 2020,” Dryad said.