The container ship – MSC Lucia – was attacked and boarded by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea yesterday, before they were chased away by the Russian Navy.

The merchant vessel was approached by speedboat before being boarded. As the merchant vessel came to a halt the crew members retreated to the engine room.

Responding to a distress call, a Russian helicopter carrying a party of marines, approached the MSC Lucia and the attackers fled back towards the coast.

The containership had left the Port of Lome in Togo on Sunday and was travelling Southeast through the Gulf of Guinea on Africa’s West Coast.

While extremely rare, pirates boarding a containership is not a new risk for carriers. The 2013 film ‘Captain Phillips’, starring Tom Hanks, was inspired by the events of the ‘Maersk Alabama’ hijacking in 2009.

On that occasion, after the crew hid in the engine room, the captain was taken hostage off of Africa’s East Coast by Somali pirates, before the US Navy intervened.



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