Tullow Ghana Limited has confirmed that an incident involving a fishing canoe and the Seacor Merchant, a security vessel, occurred last Saturday offshore Ghana.
During normal patrol operations, the crew on the Seacor Merchant made up of personnel of the Ghana Navy and security personnel of the Jubilee Partners sighted a canoe with three fishermen on board within 2.66 nautical miles west of the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah.
A statement signed by Bernice Natue, Communications & Investor Relations, of Tullow Ghana, said the canoe had deployed fishing nets very close to the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah, posing danger to its occupants, personnel in and around the FPSO as well as sub-sea infrastructure.
“The crew on board the Seacor Merchant requested, via the vessels Long Range Acoustic device, that the fishermen haul the nets back to avert danger to their lives as well as those working around and on the FPSO.
“The fishermen refused to heed the advice, and by 21.45 hours they had come within one nautical mile of the FPSO,” it said.
The statement said the crew of the Seacor Merchant then intervened to haul back the nets onto a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) deployed by the Seacor Merchant. The fishermen rammed their canoe into the RHIB in a bid to stop the removal of the nets from the Security zone, and damaged the canoe in the process. The removal of the nets was completed at about 22.30 hours.
Subsequently, the crew of the Seacor Merchant observed that the canoe was sinking. The fishermen were rescued and taken aboard the Seacor Merchant. There were no injuries on either side and both personnel and equipment in and around the Jubilee Field are safe and secure, it added.
The crew of the Seacor Merchant handed over the three fishermen to the Ghana Maritime Police at the Sekondi Navel Base, from where they were taken to the police station at the commercial port.
Following completion of required police procedures, the three fishermen were released at about 16.20 hours on Sunday 22nd February 2015.
The public is assured that the safety, security and well-being of human life is of utmost importance to the Jubilee Partners; and Tullow Ghana as the operator of the Jubilee Field hereby affirms its commitment to ensuring this at all times.