Philippine Sea

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

New Weekly Pirate Report Posted

The new Weekly Piracy Report is posted by ICC Commercial Crime Services. Of special interest:
15.03.2005 at 0531 UTC in position 14:20N - 050:50E, Gulf of Aden.
Three speedboats with four persons in each boat approached a RORO ship underway and persons inside attempted to board.  Crew activated fire hoses, sounded whistle and warned ships in vicinity. One boat was yellow in colour and the other two were brown.




Red spot on map indicates approximate location of approach. A "RORO" ship is a "Roll on-Roll Off" ship which means it has ramps that allow its cargo to be driven on and off the vessel. An example of a small RORO is shown here (picture from here:



A larger U.S.Navy RORO looks like this:



Also note the two Somalia attempts:
16.03.2005 at 0400 UTC in position 12:45.35N - 051:33.18E, Somalia.
Three armed pirates in a boat hijacked a fishing vessel underway. They directed the fishing vessel to come closer to Somali coast. Pirates held the 26-crew members as hostage for a ransom. IMB piracy reporting centre alerted coalition ships in the area who rescued the vessel and the crew and apprehended three pirates.

15.03.2005 at 1330 UTC in position 11:59.1N - 051:16.6E, Somalia.
Three pirates armed with guns in a white hull speedboat chased a general cargo ship underway and fired upon her. Crew raised alarm, activated fire hoses, increased speed and took evasive manoeuvres. After 30 mins pirates aborted attempt and fled.


Interesting in light of this warning:
"DTG 111036Z MAR 05 - SPECIAL WARNING NUMBER 122. EAST AFRICA.
AS OF EARLY 2005, THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT HAS RECEIVED
UNCONFIRMED INFORMATION THAT TERRORISTS MAY ATTEMPT TO MOUNT A
MARITIME ATTACK USING SPEEDBOATS AGAINST A WESTERN SHIP POSSIBLY IN
EAST AFRICA. THIS INFORMATION IS UNCONFIRMED AND THE UNITED STATES
IS NOT AWARE OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE PLANNING, TIMING, OR
INTENDED TARGETS OF THE MARITIME ATTACK."
The State Department message was coordinated with other U.S.
maritime and intelligence agencies. Although no further details
are available that suggests an attack is imminent, the warning is
NOT based on recent reports of action against yachts in the Gulf
of Aden, and should not be confused with continued threats to the
safety of small craft in those waters.


See my previous posts on this here and these three: worrisome pattern, asymmetic warfare, and escorts in particular.

Update: US Navy press release on recapturing of a Thai fishing vessel in the Gulf of Aden by Coalition forces.
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (COMUSNAVCENT) received telephone reports from the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, concerning the hijacking of Thai-flagged fishing vessel Sirichai Nava 12 by three Somali crew members the evening of March 16, as well as a fax indicating that the hijackers demanded $800,000 in ransom for the vessel’s crew.

Commander, Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, under the direction of COMUSNAVCENT, tasked British Royal Navy aircraft carrier Invincible, destroyer Nottingham and Munro to investigate the situation. A Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) team from Munro boarded Sirichai Nava, while a boarding team from Nottingham boarded a second fishing vessel, Ekhwat Patana, which was with the Thai vessel. Munro’s boarding team detained the Somalis without incident.

One of the crew members of the Thai vessel had a minor flesh wound, which was treated by the Munro boarding team. The Coast Guardsmen also discovered four automatic weapons in the pilothouse, expended ammunition shells on the deck of the vessel, as well as ammunition on the detained suspects. The three suspects were transferred to Munro pending follow-on disposition guidance from higher authority.


Update: United States Coast Guard Cutter Munro:



Munro info here.

HMS Invincible:



Invincible webpage.

HMS Nottingham:



Nottinghahm webpage.

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