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NIMASA, Nigerian Navy, Airforce patrol foil piracy attack on British vessel
By Benson Akomo
August 31, 2012 14:02:08pm GMT      |      Views: 1283
British flagged vessel, MT Energy Centurion, rescued from hijackers through the collaborative efforts of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Navy and the Airforce.

WorldStage Newsonline-- The collaborative efforts of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Navy and the Airforce have folded the hijack of a British flagged vessel, MT Energy Centurion.

According to statement by the Head, Corporate Affairs, NIMASA, Hajia Lami Tumaka, the vessel registered in the Isle of Man as Douglas in its Port of registry, was first reported to have been attacked at gunpoint in Togolese waters, while further intelligence indicated that it was navigating towards Nigerian Waters.

NIMASA was said to have immediately informed the Nigerian Navy and the Airforce via its intelligence platforms on the position of the vessel, and requested for patrol support which was expeditiously availed by the Nigerian Airforce.

The statement said the Nigerian Airforce deployed its elite maritime patrol team led by Air Commodore Atiko who administered necessary air patrol assistance, while the patrol team also comprised of Captain Warredi Enisuoh of NIMASA.

The statement said the patrol team initiated a surveillance exercise on the 30th August, 2012 to verify the affected ship’s sea location while the operation which lasted for 6 hours identified the vessel’s location at 6 degrees 04.7 minutes North 004 degrees 24.4 minutes East making its position 57 Miles from Escravos – 70 Nautical miles from Lagos.

“Onboard intelligence system indicated the vessel was heading 255 degrees at a speed of 11 knots presumably returning to Lome,” the statement said.

“During the operation, the patrol team made no radio contact with the crew for safety reasons. However when the over-flights were made around the vessel, it was observed to be fully loaded.

“NIMASA was unable to confirm if any volume of cargo had been taken off the ship but confirmation was received hours after that the vessel had been released.”

Hailing the efforts of the patrol team, the statement attributed the success of the exercise to inter-agency collaboration and commended the role of the Nigerian Navy and the Airforce.

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