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  • Writer's pictureShaun Robertson

Piracy in the Gulf of Mexico: Armed Robberies of the Bourbon Artabaze and Bourbon Alienor

In the last week of 2022, two maritime robberies occurred in the Gulf of Mexico. This article will give a quick overview of what happened and a quick overview of the piracy situation in the Gulf of Mexico.

Six armed robbers also boarded the Bourbon Alienor in the early hours

On the 27th at 23:00, the Bourbon Artabaze was boarded, and pirates stole equipment whilst the crew took refuge in the citadel. Six armed robbers also boarded the Bourbon Alienor in the early hours of the 28th, making off with the equipment like the last attack. The second incident was reported at 02:45 to the authorities, and the Mexican Navy appeared within a couple of hours to take a report.


It is reported that the attack on the Bourbon Alienor saw the theft of equipment such as breathing apparatuses, radios and tools. Such equipment was likely stolen in the first attack also, but as stated, the crew were safe in the citadel. If the crew were not in the citadel, then it is likely that their personal belongings would have been stolen as well. Both vessels appear to still be operating in the Bay of Campeche at the time of writing.


Whilst attacks can occur on the oil platforms, they can also occur on oil tankers and support vessels

Both robberies followed the typical robbery pattern of piracy in the Gulf of Mexico. Whilst attacks can occur on the oil platforms, they can also occur on oil tankers and support vessels - as seen with these two attacks. It may be hypothesised that both vessels were attacked by the same pirates who operated on successive nights targetting similar vessels in the same area.


There have been other significant incidents in the Gulf this year, usually taking place around the Bay of Campeche, as has been typical with piracy in the area since its prevalence in 2019.


Going into 2023, it remains to be seen if the Gulf of Mexico will become a major hotspot for piracy, as seen previously in other areas of the world, or if the piracy rates will continue at somewhat lower rates and severity. As covered in Palaemon articles, the surrounding factors enabling piracy and black market trades certainly support the possibility.





Advanced Anti-piracy Counter Measures

Razor wire alone is not an effective primary layer of defence against piracy attacks, as is evident in nearly all examples.


Anti-piracy barriers are designed to prevent pirates from using ladders, grappling hooks, climbing poles, and boarding ships. Anti-piracy barriers are becoming more commonly used by vessels operating in the Gulf of Mexico.


Anti-piracy barriers are available to rent from Palaemon Maritime.


Email security@palaemonmaritime for a free quote.



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