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Monday, August 20, 2007

Latest ONI Worldwide Threats to Shipping Report (to 15 Aug 07) and ICC CCS Piracy Report (to 14 Aug 07)

Latest ONI Worldwide Threats to Shipping Report (to 15 Aug 07) can be found here. Highlights:
NORTH AMERICA:
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1. UNITED STATES: Cruise ship reported suspicious approach 12 Aug 07 at 1130 local time while docked at Long Beach Cruise Terminal. The coast guard received a report that a suspicious boat was within the 100-yard security zone around a cruise ship. The suspicious boat was 15-18 feet long with a metal skiff that was holding three men and a female. The boat exited the area before enforcement authorities arrived. The Port Operations Dive Group (LM: CBS2.com).(See here for more info, including a comment by a person who reports being in a dingy coming alongside a cruise ship in Long Beach...)

G. WEST AFRICA:
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1. DEM. REP. CONGO: Refrigerated cargo ship boarded, robbed 05 Aug 07 at 0119 local time, Ango-Ango, Matadi port anchorage. Armed robbers in two canoes boarded the vessel and threatened the deck watchman with a knife and chased him; luckily the watchman managed to escape and raised the alarm. Meanwhile, other robbers stole from the ship’s stores. Upon seeing the alerted crew, the robbers jumped overboard and escaped (IMB).
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2. NIGERIA: Tanker reported attempted boarding 05 Aug 07 at 0225 UTC in position
06:18.6N – 003:23.9E, Lagos anchorage. A boat with six robbers approached the vessel from the stern. The watchman on duty spotted the robbers trying to board the ship by hooking a bamboo pole onto the ship’s rail. He informed the bridge, the alarm was raised and the whistle sounded. The robbers aborted the attempt and escaped. An investigation carried out later found nothing stolen (IMB).
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3. NIGERIA: LPG tanker boarded, robbed 05 Aug at 0330 local time in position 06:19.29N - 003:23.62E, Lagos anchorage. Two robbers armed with long knives boarded the vessel. The duty crew raised the alarm and the robbers escaped with the ship’s stores. The port control was informed. The ship was advised to drift 15NM away from the pilot station (IMB).

INDIAN OCEAN-EAST AFRICA:
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3. SOMALIA: Refrigerated cargo ship reported suspicious approach 11 Aug 07 at 1200 UTC while underway in position 01:13N – 052:38E. A trawler reportedly attempted to intercept the vessel. The ship altered its course and the trawler altered onto a collision course with the vessel. The ship took evasive maneuvers, increased its speed and attempted to contact the trawler on VHF, but did not receive a response. After following the ship for one hour, the suspicious trawler moved away. Suspicious vessel described as having sleek hill, tall watch tower, derrick aft and something that looks like fishing nets piled up on the aft deck. ONI COMMENT: A photo of the suspicious vessel was that of a pelagic purse seine fishing vessel
(IMB, Operator, ONI).

10. SRI LANKA: Sea battle between Sri Lankan Navy and LTTE, personnel killed 13 Aug 07, pre-dawn off Nayaru. Navy personnel intercepted a group of Sea Tiger boats moving toward the Pulmodai area on the northeast coast. The Navy claimed to have sunk a rebel craft after a three-hour sea battle that left three government sailors wounded. Navy sources believed that at least six rebels may have been aboard the boat that was sunk. The Navy stated that several LTTE boats were damaged in the skirmish while the pro-rebel Tamilnet.com websites claims that three Sri Lankan gunboats were also damaged. The Sri Lankan military claimed that the third seniormost leader of the “LTTE’s rudimentary naval wing” was killed along with five
senior cadres in the intense sea battle (LM: Times of India, The Hindu).
Also, the ICC Commercial Crime Services Piracy Report to 14 August 07, found here. Highlights are, for the most part, the same as the ones reported above from the D.R. Congo, Nigeria and off Somalia.

UPDATE: Sailor's union wants anti-piracy action--Now!. Well, as posted before , not everyone agrees with the union on how dire the threat is. See here. Seems like a couple of years ago we went through the same cycle of union demand for action, which may be an effort to get more union sailors employed...under the theory that more sailors on watch in dangerous waters makes for safer ships, though it is couched in different terms:
A shipping union has asked the British Foreign Office to do something about the growing number of pirate attacks worldwide.

With 238 pirate-based attacks having occurred worldwide during the first half of 2007, Nautilus General Secretary Brian Orrell has contacted the British government asking that action be taken to limit such attacks, Sky News said Sunday.

"Some 95 percent of world trade goes by sea, and the attacks on shipping represent a very real threat to established principles of navigational freedom," Orrell said.

During the first six months of 2006, 198 pirate attacks occurred worldwide, marking a dramatic increase from the 48 attacks during the same time period in 2005.

The shipping union is asking the British government to provide additional security for vessels traveling through particularly dangerous waters.
Again, I remind readers that the vast majority of reported piracy attacks are robbers slipping aboard ship and stealing things they can carry off, though there are kidnappings and vessel seizures, too, but not really in great numbers...

UPDATE2: Edited to make it more readable.

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