Following the attack on Norwegian-flagged bulk carrier ‘MV BONITA’ on 4 November, yet another incident happened later that day on Greek vessel ‘ELKA ARISTOTLE’ resulting in the abduction of four of its crew members.

The shipping industry is extremely concerned about the rise of armed attacks on merchant ships in the Gulf of Guinea. Such attacks on crew and ships are first and foremost a human tragedy certainly if seafarers are kidnapped. In addition they threaten the smooth conduct of maritime trade in the region and cause severe repercussions on international shipping.

The Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) strongly condemns the attack on ‘ELKA ARISTOTLE’ and looks forward to the immediate peaceful resolution.

“It is completely unacceptable that these attacks continue and our hearts go out to the crew and family members affected,” said Guy Platten, ICS Secretary-General. “We call on the relevant parties to redouble their efforts to stamp out these acts of criminality.”

“ECSA is committed to working with EU stakeholders for the suppression of this alarming phenomenon of armed attacks on ships. Our primary goal is to secure the safety of seafarers,” Martin Dorsman, ECSA Secretary-General, commented.

Both the international and European shipping communities want appropriate measures taken to protect seafarers and the maritime trade. There is an absolute need for a concerted action by all stakeholders involved to come up with a substantial and effective response to these armed attacks.

 For more information, please contact: Harold Tor-Daenens,