Ocean Marine Solutions Limited, OMSL, an indigenous company, which provides maritime, oil and security solutions, has saved Nigeria from what would have been a monumental international embarrassment.
Information obtained from the website of Fleetmon, builders of the world’s first public vessel data collection, has it that a general cargo ship, the Hungarian Glory, managed by Tianjin Xinhai International Ship Management was attacked by pirates March 5, 2020 on the coastal side of Lagos.
It stated: “The ship was drifting after the attack, not responding to contact requests. According to track, the ship started moving at around 1300 Universal Time Coordinated, UTC Mar 6, after about an hour went adrift again.
“As of 1500 UTC Mar 6, the ship was still adrift or moving at slow speed, Nigerian Navy patrol boat NNS SPARROW approaching – in nearly 24 hours after the alert, in the vicinity of Lagos with 23 crew reportedly all Chinese.
“The NNS Sparrow is one of the patrol boats of the OMSL audited and approved by the Nigerian Navy and fitted with comprehensive communication equipment, enabling full situational awareness for clients’ enhanced protection. It executed the rescue mission and safely brought the vessel back to Lagos.”
Managing Director, OMSL, Rear Admiral AOA Ikioda, could not be reached for comments, but a company source, who preferred not to be named because he was not permitted to speak, said: “The vessel is not our client’s vessel but the Navy beckoned on us to assist considering the amount of bureaucracy it would take for them to execute. We work with the Navy and they are in charge of our vessels so it was easy for them to divert our vessel from SAA (Secure Anchorage Area) for the rescue. They only informed us of their decision because it is of national interest.”
According to the company, “For the last 7+ years, OMS has worked in partnership with the Nigerian Navy, providing vital static asset protection to the oil and gas industry and much-needed escort services for commercial vessels transiting through Nigerian water.
“Our fleet of 42+ purpose-built Patrol Boats, coordinated from our Operations Centers in Lagos, Warri & Port Harcourt, provide additional, sustainable support to the Nigerian Navy, enabling her to maintain a greater presence at sea and enhancing her surveillance and information gathering capabilities. With an increasing global focus on the challenges of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, we pride ourselves on delivering the best possible security solutions to the oil & gas and shipping industries, operating in one of the most complex environments in the world.”
However, a Chinese operator, added: “We are glad that when it was necessary, Nigeria had a company it could call on for such emergency operation. We applaud the OMSL for their prompt, proactive and professional intervention.”
“Over the years, the OMSL, established to enhance the safeguarding of maritime-related commercial investments by offering expert advice and real-time solutions to security problems, has gone further by providing premier security solutions that help to promote a safe business environment not only in Nigeria but also in the entire West African Coast.
“It is Nigeria’s leading asset protection company dedicated to protecting her natural resources from graft and illegal activities; and has a successful record of accomplishment of securing strategic national infrastructure and stopping illegal bunkering, vandalism and oil theft.”