With the help of the Nigerian Navy, the motor fishing vessel AFKI, flying the flag of Cameroon, which had been abandoned at sea for almost a month, was saved.
On November 1, the Navy’s ship NNS Dorina received a distress call informing them of the MFV AFKI’s predicament; the ship had been having problems with its propulsion engine and was struggling to get help. However, the rescue wasn’t feasible until November 17 due to the ship’s unpredictable motion.
The Navy’s spokeswoman, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, said in a statement on Monday that the fishing boat experienced fuel depletion and had to veer off course while travelling from Bangul, Gambia, to Kinshasa, the Congo, for delivery.
Citing information from the Netherlands Embassy, Commodore Ayo-Vaughan explained, “The MFV AFKI, navigating from Bangul to the Congo Kinshasa, faced a critical setback when its propulsion engines suffered fuel depletion, forcing the vessel to drift off course near Sao Tome and Principe, eventually entering Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic Zone.”
The location of the vessel was determined by the Nigerian Navy’s diligent surveillance, notwithstanding the failure of the vessel owner to locate and rescue the AFKI. The location was around 72 nautical miles off the coast of Nigeria. The NN then quickly launched the NNS Dorina and used its Maritime Domain Awareness capabilities to conduct a thorough Search and Rescue.
The naval spokesperson provided the following details: “On November 17, 2023, around 2000 hours, the NNS Dorina successfully located the distressed vessel 17 nautical miles off Pennington terminal after extensive efforts and meticulous monitoring.”
Two foreign crew members were found on board when the Navy boarded the ship, which prompted a thorough inspection to determine the state of the ship and rule out any illegal activity.
Commodore Ayo-Vaughan said, “It was confirmed that the vessel was free of any incriminating items or activities following careful inspection by the NNS Dorina’s Boarding Party.” “The Nigerian Navy then towed the MFV AFKI and the NNS IKENNE to Escravos in Delta State as a humanitarian gesture.”
The Fishing Vessel was taken into custody by the NN Forward Operating Base in Escravos, whereupon formalities were commenced in anticipation of the vessel’s transfer to the Dutch Embassy. After spending over a month at sea adrift, the MFV AFKI was safely retrieved thanks to the Nigerian Navy’s prompt and efficient reaction.