Updated information about the Somali pirate seizure of a Danish ship, Danica White can be found here at Protocol:
The ship owned by the Danish shipowner H. Folmer & Co. was highjacked 2 June 240 nautical miles North East of Mogadishu off the coast of Puntland. Most probably the ship has been taken by the pirates operating from the Harardhere region, which has been known as "Somali Marines" and several other names. These pirates have returned to the area since the Ethiopians and the Transitional Federal Government withdrew some months ago from the area after retaking the area from the Islamic Courts Union in December 2006.Hat tip to:Protocol See previous post here.
The attack have most probably been carried out with a mother ship and a number of motor boats in order to operate at 240 nautical miles and even if the IMB recommends to keep out of 200 nautical miles from the Somalia coastline, Protocol has information about attempted attacks out to 320 NM in 2005 and 2006. According to our information Danica White had followed the recommendations on the 200 NM area and implemented correct procedures.
UPDATE: Help may have arrived too late:
According to reports a French warship arrived on the scene as the Danica White entered Somali waters but refused requests from the ship's manager, H Folmer, to intervene within territorial waters.It's my interpretation of the following that "hot pursuit" of a pirate vessel is not allowed under International Law after a certain point: From United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
Article 105. Seizure of a pirate ship or aircraftUnder this law, the French ship lost the right of pursuit if it believed that the captured ship entered the territorial waters of Somalia.
On the high seas, or in any other place outside the jurisdiction of any State, every State may seize a pirate ship or aircraft, or a ship or aircraft taken by piracy and under the control of pirates, and arrest the persons and seize the property on board. The courts of the State which carried out the seizure may decide upon the penalties to be imposed, and may also determine the action to be taken with regard to the ships, aircraft or property, subject to the rights of third parties acting in good faith.
Article 111. Right of hot pursuit
1. The hot pursuit of a foreign ship may be undertaken when the competent authorities of the coastal State have good reason to believe that the ship has violated the laws and regulations of that State. Such pursuit must be commenced when the foreign ship or one of its boats is within the internal waters, the archipelagic waters, the territorial sea or the contiguous zone of the pursuing State, and may only be continued ouside the territorial sea or the contiguous zone if the pursuit has not been interrupted. It is not necessary that, at the time when the foreign ship within the territorial sea or the contiguous zone receives the order to stop, the ship giving the order should likewise be within the territorial sea or the contiguous zone. If the foreign ship is within a contiguous zone, as defined in article 33, the pursuit may only be undertaken if there has been a violation of the rights for the protection of which the zone was established.
2. The right of hot pursuit shall apply mutatis mutandis to violations in the exclusive economic zone or on the continental shelf, including safety zones around continental shelf installations, of the laws and regulations of the coastal State applicable in accordance with this Convention to the exclusive economic zone or the continental shelf, including such safety zones.
3. The right of hot pursuit ceases as soon as the ship pursued enters the territorial sea of its own State or of a third State.
Yes, sometimes the "law is an ass."