Nigerian Navy Ship Dorina in consonance with its statutory role for Safety of Life at Sea, has successfully rescued a Cameroonian-flagged Motor Fishing Vessel AFKI (MFV AFKI) with registration number UK12 and IMO number AFKI 8432780 four days after she drifted off her course.
Confirming the rescue on Monday in Abuja, the Director of Information (DINFO), Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan said that the Nigerian Navy received a distressed message on the 1 November, 2023, requesting assistance for the rescue of the Cameroonian vessel having drifted off her course for four weeks.
It was learnt that available information from a Note Verbale issued by the Embassy of the kingdom of the Netherlands, the incident occurred on 24 October 2023 when MFV AFKI was enroute from Bangul in Gambia to the Congo Kinshasa for delivery of the vessel.
Commodore Ayo- Vaughan further explained that “While in transit, the vessel suffered depleted fuel to her propulsion engines which resulted to her drifting off the Coast of Sao Tome and Principe into the Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
“Unfortunately, all efforts by the vessel owners to trace its location for possible rescue proved abortive. However, further surveillance revealed that the last known location of the vessel was as about 72 nautical miles from the Nigerian coast.
Consequently, “the Nigerian Navy swiftly deployed Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) DORINA the Maritime Domain Awareness facilities for Search and Rescue Operation (SAR).
However, on 17 November 2023 at about 2000 hours, after frantic surveillance by the deployed NN platform, NNS DORINA traced and made contact with the vessel 17 nautical miles off Pennington terminal.
Upon rescuing of the vessel, two
foreign crew members were confirmed onboard. Pertinently, due diligence was made by NNS DORINA Boarding Party to ascertain the status of the vessel and her involvement in any untoward activities.
It was however discovered that the vessel actually had no incriminating items onboard. Thereafter, NNS DORINA towed MFV AFKI with the assistance of NNS IKENNE to Escravos, Delta State where NN Forward Operating Base ESCRAVOS took custody of the Fishing Vessel for further administrative procedures in preparation to hand over the vessel to the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
MFV AFKI had thus been adrift for almost one month before the NN rescued her.
As a result, the Nigerian Navy has reassured seafarers and other maritime operators of its commitments to collaborate with local and strategic partners and allies to ensure the safety and security of vessels as well as
crew members who carry out legitimate businesses in or transit Nigerian maritime environment.
The force maintained that the deployment of NN platforms in the Search and Rescue of the Cameroonian registered fishing vessel, MFV AFKI is in line with the NN’s statutory role for Safety of Life at Sea, SAR and also in line with the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla’s Command Philosophy which is “to lead the NN with integrity, courage and relentless pursuit for excellence through teamwork, discipline and human capacity building, whilst upholding highest standard and professionalism, ethics and respect for human right.