According to EMGFA, the Navy Maritime Operations Centre received a distress alert from a merchant ship in the Gulf of Guinea on 7 November and it confirmed that it was an attack on the ship by two fast vessels that were ntrying to board it.

"It is an incident that is linked to maritime piracy in the region," they said.

EMGFA pointed out that the patrol vessel "Zaire", on a mission in Sao Tome and Principe since January 2018, which was sailing about 100 km from the incident, was immediately engaged to provide support.

It then joined the patrol vessel "Sines", which was on its way to Sao Tome and Principe, on a mission within the framework of cooperation in the field of Defence.

"This incident did not result in victims or material damage to the ship that was attacked. Because of the distance from the coast, it is likely the existence of a mother ship in the area, a larger ship that is intended to support the attacks made by pirates' speedboats," the statement said.

EMGFA added that the Portuguese vessels continue to patrol the area, to identify any vessels involved in the origin of the attack.