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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Latest ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping Report (to 11 Apr 07)

Latest ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping Report (to 11 Apr 07) found here. Highlights:
1. SOMALIA: On 06 Apr, the M/V (ROZEN) and cargo dhow (NIMATULLAH)
were released by Somali pirates after completing ransom negotiations. Both vessels
were reportedly being held 3 km off the Somali coast near the small fishing village of
Dhighiley in Puntland. (ONI background note: This conflicts with previous reporting
claiming the cargo dhow was being held farther south off Haradheere). Per 08 Apr
reporting, the (NIMATULLAH) safely returned to the port of Mogadishu after their
five day ordeal. The dhow is expected to commence cargo offload operations before
returning to Dubai, UAE. Per 12 Apr reporting, the (ROZEN) safely returned to
Mombasa, Kenya after their 41 day ordeal. The vessel’s owner, Karim Kudrati, gave
thanks and praises to the brave crew. However, he said it is high time now for the
Kenyan government to act. The Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Kenya and the
Deputy Country Director for the World Food Program said that there is an urgent need
for the regional authorities and the international community to put more efforts in curbing
the piracy menace off the Somali coast. (ONI background note: All four of Karim
Kudrati’s vessels (SEMLOW, TORGELOW, MILTZOW, and ROZEN) have been
hijacked by Somali pirates over the past two years while delivering aid under charter
of the UN World Food Program. The victimized crewmembers of these vessels were
Kenyan and Sri Lankan nationals. To date, Kenya has successfully prosecuted 10 Somali
pirates)(SAP, LM, ONI).
***
2. NIGERIA: Oil rig (BULFORD DOLPHIN) boarded, worker kidnapped 31 Mar
at 0400 local time, 40 NM off the coast of Nigeria. The gunmen first targeted a support
vessel moored to the Bulford Dolphin rig, overpowered the crew, then climbed onto the
rig and seized an expatriate worker. A company spokesman explained they had recently
suffered a breakdown in relations with local communities and that discontented factions
might be behind the abduction. The worker was released on 04 Apr and the oil rig will
not restart operations until a full review of security of has been completed. Eight expatriate
workers were kidnapped off the same rig in Jun of last year and freed two days later
(REUTERS, BBC, LM: The Herald).
***
1. INDIAN OCEAN: Heavy Lift vessel reported suspicious approach, 12 Mar while
underway in position 12:42N-056:44E, east of Socotra, Yemen. A suspicious fishing
vessel kept calling on VHF-16 to the heavy lift vessel asking them to keep clear of their
fishing net(s), and all of a sudden they changed and started asking for water and food.
The master decided to alter course in order to maintain his distance from the suspicious
vessels (IMB).
***
3. INDONESIA: Tanker (AI MARU) boarded 14 Mar at 1630 local time while underway
in position 01-07.29N 105-03.66E approximately 30NM east of Pulau Bintan. Ten heavily
armed pirates intercepted and boarded the product tanker in two navy grey fiberglass speed crafts with outboard engines. The men were dressed in camouflage and carried shot guns, rifles and daggers. One of them had on a ski mask. They boarded the tanker and tied up all crew members and blindfolded them. The master of the ship was punched several times with no serious injuries. The gunmen also damaged the ship’s radio communications equipment and took the ship’s documents, crew passports, seaman books, cash, and hand phones before they fled in their speedboats. After steaming for 45 minutes the pirates smashed all the communication equipment. The ship’s engines stalled 40NM from Horsburgh, Lighthouse. When the pirates could not restart the engines they abandoned the ship and escaped in their speedboats. All crew were accounted for with no injuries and all cargo intact. The master reported that there was not a single shot fired by the men during the incident. The ReCCAP ISC Focal Point (Singapore) advises ship-owners and masters to exercise vigilance while transiting this location (ReCAPP ISC, IMB).
***
7. MALACCA STRAIT: Bulk carrier reported attempted boarding 28 Mar, at 0707
UTC while underway in position 04:40.0N-099:15.5E. Four men in a 15 meter speedboat
with a grey wooden hull were observed drifting across the vessel’s course line. The speedboat
suddenly approached the vessel. The master raised the alarm and took evasive maneuvers;
the crew mustered and activated the fire hoses. The pirates attempted to board the bulk
carrier with ropes and a long stick with steps. After 20 minutes, the pirates moved away
(IMB).

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