Five patrol boats acquired to tackle piracy along Tema and Takoradi ports

Director General of the Ghana Maritme Authority, Thomas Alonsi
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The Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) has acquired some five patrol boats for surveillance along the Tema and Takoradi port, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has announced.

Three trash skimmers have also been acquired by the authority to ensure that Ghana’s marine source is free from pollution and to improve sanitation along the coast line, he added.

“Taking into consideration the recent surge in piracy within our sub-region, it is refreshing to see that the Ghana Maritime Authority is on top of its mandate,” he said.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah said these after a press conference addressed by the Director General of the Ghana Maritme Authority (GMA) Thomas Alonsi on Wednesday August 11.

He also revealed that So far 21,000 tree stumps have been removed from the Volta Lake.

 “Ghana Maritime Authority under the leadership of DG Thomas Alonsi has been executing a number of projects to improve the maritime industry.

“Key among them has been the removal of tree stumps from inland waterways. So far 21,000 tree stumps have been removed from the Volta Lake,” the Ofoase Ayirebi lawmaker said.

He added “The authority has also acquired some five patrol boats for surveillance along the Tema and Takoradi port.

“Three trash skimmers have also been acquired by the authority to ensure that our marine source is free from pollution and to improve sanitation along the coast line.”

The Ghana navy appeared handicapped in fighting off pirates attack a piracy attack earlier this year.

Although this is the first time Ghana is said to have experienced pirates attack on its territorial waters, the cost of warding off these attacks if they become incessant is something the country may not be able to handle.

In May this year, a Ghanaian tuna fishing vessel, Atlantic Princess was attacked on Ghana’s waters, south of Tema  whiles the pirates kidnapped five crew members, all foreign nationals.

Speaking exclusively to Alfred Ocansey on the 3FM’s Sunrise Morning Show, Naval Captain Bright Atiayao who is the Director Navy Operations noted the vessel which was attacked is ailing back to Tema but the pirates’ skiff boat used for the operations and the pirates have not been found yet.

According to him, the operations lasted 6 hours and a rescue search has begun.

“ We are always out there is just that we are at one side and something is happening at the other side which is why we need information in real quick time to respond. The only problem yesterday was that they didn’t call early. We have equipment that look out to the sea”.

The pirates’ skiff boat is said to be faster. “ We have some capacity only that it can be improved. Naval boats generally have speed that they work with, they don’t move as fast as aircraft so the Ghana Airforce was there to assist. Our only limitations is that we need more of the platform which the current government is working round the clock to provide us so we are capable but we only need more to be there all the time”.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana