The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)’s satellite surveillance system has rescued a Ghanaian vessel hijacked off the coast of Ghana.
In a statement signed by NIMASA’s deputy director, Public Relations, Mr Isichei Osamgbi, the director-general of the NIMASA, Mr Patrick Akpobolokemi was quoted as saying that “with the cooperation shown by all parties in the operation, the agency would continue to utilise cutting edge technology and partnership with the military to secure Nigerian waters for enhanced trade activities.”
The agency’s newly acquired marine satellite surveillance system has the ability to detect boats, ships and objects of predefined cross-section floating on water. This includes any aircraft that ditches and remains on the surface during satellite over-flight. Its abilities further includes, but is not limited to, setting range rings and restricted areas for which when penetrated by an intruder, the system gives an alarm, thereby alerting the operator.
This is the first regional cooperation between the NIMASA, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force and the Ghanaian Authorities in the anti-piracy war in the Gulf of Guinea and is hinged on the provisions of the Bilateral Agreement on Regional cooperation on anti-piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
Nigeria, as a signatory to the International Safety of Life and Sea (SOLAS) and Search and Rescue (SAR) Conventions, is obliged to intervene and provide co-ordination during safety and security-related incidents in its territorial waters and beyond.
The country is one of the five Regional Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres (RMRCCs) that are designated by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in Africa.
“By this responsibility, Nigeria is expected to provide search and rescue as well as coordinate security co-ordination in the waters of Benin Republic, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Sao Tome & Principe and Togo, in addition to its own territorial waters,” the agency said.