Two fast crew supplier vessels configured as patrol boats for West African offshore services supplier Homeland Integrated Offshore Services Limited (HIOSL) have arrived in Nigeria.
Announcing their arrival to Nigeria, Damen said on Tuesday that the two latest additions to the Homeland’s fleet were being prepared for their first assignments.
Homeland’s patrol vessels are deployed in the Gulf of Guinea to protect and support the offshore assets of its clients which include many international oil companies.
The two new vessels, named Guardian 9 and Guardian 10, were built to the same specifications as their sister ships. Key features of the 33-meter vessels include Damen’s trademark Axe Bow hull form and a top speed of 29 knots.
The vessels are capable of accommodating up to six crew and twelve security personnel and can remain at sea for up to four weeks and travel 1,200 nautical miles in and around Nigeria’s coastal and offshore oil fields.
According to Damen, the security packages installed by Damen on both vessels are purely defensive. The bridges are bulletproof and armored citadels within the hulls protect non-combatants.
Louis Ekere, CEO and managing director of Homeland, said: “We continue to invest in state-of-the-art vessels for our fleet so as to maintain our leadership position in servicing Nigeria’s offshore oil and gas sector. We work with many of the international oil companies operating actively in the Gulf of Guinea and these new additions will support them in achieving their strategic global objectives.”
Nigerian offshore waters are notorious for being one of the most dangerous in the world. Pirates in the area have attacked hijacked and robbed vessels, kidnapped crews along the coast, rivers, anchorages, ports, and surrounding waters.
Nigerian pirate attacks are not only focused on Nigerian waters. Pirates have attacked offshore vessels in Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, and Equatorial Guinea.
It is worth noting that one of the incidents this year had fatal consequences. Namely, pirates armed with machine guns attacked an offshore support vessel offshore Nigeria in March, kidnapped five men, and escaped. A Nigerian navy guard was killed in the attack.
Another attack this year involved a Boskalis-owned heavy transportation vessel being hijacked offshore Equatorial Guinea. Luckily, there were no casualties as the crew locked itself in the citadel and waited for the rescue to arrive.
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