Seafarers-contracted Crowley has provided the following article and accompanying photos:
The officers and crew of the Crowley Maritime Corp.-managed M/V Ocean Atlas are safe after recently fending off multiple attempts by pirates to board the vessel while off the coast of Lome, Togo. The crew’s anti-piracy safety training coupled with the on-board security team from Nexus Consulting ensured the safety of the cargo and all personnel on board.
The M/V Ocean Atlas anchored three miles off the port of Lome on Nov. 21 in a highly congested area to wait to receive fuel. The security team set up surveillance to ensure a safe perimeter while awaiting the arrival of the fueling vessel.
Just before midnight, a skiff carrying six men used the numerous fishing and fueling vessels in the area as cover while searching for a location to board the ship. Twice, the men attempted to board the vessel along the port side using a rope-and-wooden ladder but were spotted by the surveillance team, which in coordination with the crew members, prevented the pirates from boarding. When safe, the crew radioed the Togo navy to report the attack and request assistance.
Following anti-piracy safety protocol, the crew members remained on the bridge while the security team guarded all entry points on the vessel. These measures prevented a second attempt to board the vessel 30 minutes later, this time by pirates in three separate skiffs. Throughout the remainder of the night as the vessel awaited fuel, the crew members worked with the security team to keep surveillance on the pirate skiffs as they continued their attempts to board the ship.
“We are grateful all of our crew members made it home safely after these recent events,” said Nick Orfanidis, Crowley’s director of fleet operations. “The crew’s performance in this high-stress situation showed its high level of professionalism and the value of Crowley’s anti-piracy security and safety training. The crew’s safety also would not have been possible without the expertise and skill of the Nexus Consulting security team.”
Ocean Atlas vessel master Capt. Scott A. Lund also credited the crew and security team for their efforts.
The M/V Ocean Atlas is operated by Intermarine LLC through its U.S.-flag affiliate, US Ocean LLC, as part of its U.S.-flag heavy-lift service. Crowley began managing vessels for Intermarine in October 2011, including the technical management of the M/V Ocean Atlas. This U.S.-flag, heavy-lift/multipurpose cargo vessel operates around the world and is 393 feet long with a gross tonnage of 7,252.
Jacksonville-based Crowley Holdings Inc., a holding company of the 120-year-old Crowley Maritime Corporation, is a privately held family and employee-owned company. The company provides project solutions, transportation and logistics services in domestic and international markets by means of six operating lines of business: Puerto Rico/Caribbean Liner Services, Latin America Liner Services, Logistics Services, Petroleum Services, Marine Services and Technical Services. Offered within these operating lines of business are: liner container shipping, logistics, contract towing and transportation; ship assist and escort; energy support; salvage and emergency response through its TITAN Salvage subsidiary; vessel management; vessel construction and naval architecture through its Jensen Maritime subsidiary; government services, and petroleum and chemical transportation, distribution and sales. Additional information about Crowley, its subsidiaries and business units may be found at www.crowley.com.