MH60S

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

On the road

On the road visiting family for Thanksgiving all along the US Gulf Coast (yes, we are doing the Katrina inspection tour!), so blogging will be spotty. Happy Thanksgiving!

US is issuing more warnings to stay away from Somalia and to be alert off Yeman, too here
Boats and ships near Somalia and Yemen should travel in convoys and maintain good radio communications at all times because of the threat of pirate attacks, a U.S. travel advisory warned Wednesday.

Sailors should avoid the Somali port of Mogadishu and remain at least 200 nautical miles (230 miles or 370 kilometers) off the Horn of Africa nation to avoid pirate attacks, armed robberies and kidnappings for ransom, according to a travel advisory released by the U.S. Embassy in Kenya.
The International Herald Tribune warns of terrorist dangers to sea lines of communication (SLOCs) here:
Governments and businesses around the world take note: Today's Information Age economy of bytes, portals and fiber optic cables still depends on barges, ports and shipping lanes that are highly vulnerable to natural or man-made disasters.

New Orleans underscores the geopolitical significance of a single port or passageway when 80 percent of world trade still moves by ship. Fed by the Mississippi River and its tributaries, the Port of New Orleans is the conduit for most of American grain exports and large quantities of imported oil, steel, rubber and cement. But more than two months after the hurricane, the port is accepting only a handful of ships a day.

Still, the consequences of Katrina pale beside those of a storm or terrorist strike that could potentially disrupt even larger ports like Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Rotterdam. Even more vulnerable are the half-dozen navigational "choke points" through which passes 75 percent of maritime trade.
Kuwait has apprehended some Iraqi "sea robbers":
Kuwait has arrested four Iraqi "pirates" who used a stolen boat to rob Kuwaiti ships, state news agency KUNA said on Wednesday.

Mubarak al-Omairi of the Kuwaiti Coast Guard was quoted as saying a patrol seized the men after a sea chase, following reports of armed robbery in Kuwaiti territorial waters.

The four men, described as Iraqis, have been referred to prosecutors, Omairi said. The men were using a boat stolen six months ago from its Kuwaiti owner.
Nigeria crack down on some oil thieves:
The Navy in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, said on Monday that it seized 16 boats and two ships suspected to be on illegal bunkering missions between May and November this year.

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