In any event, the latest ONI Worldwide Threats to Shipping Report can be found here. Of special concern should be the increasing use of weapons in the Gulf of Aden as seen in the incidents below. Highlights:
7. SRI LANKA: Trawler with suspected LTTE links seized 02 Mar 08, 150NM northeast Mullaitivu coast. The Foreign Ministry has begun an extensive probe into the seizing of a vessel within Sri Lankan waters and carrying illegal immigrants and the possibility of LTTE involvement in what appears to be a human smuggling operation via the Indian Ocean. The Navy rescued 71 Myammar and Bangladeshi survivors drifting in a large wooden trawler which reportedly departed from Cox’s Baza, Bangladesh on 09 Feb 08. Investigations are currently being conducted to find out whether there are any LTTE links with this group as they are also believed to be engaged in human smuggling. The vessel became disabled after developing***
engine problems. There were originally 91 people on the vessel, however 20 died from starvation, and the bodies were thrown overboard (LM: dailymirror.lk).
6. GULF OF ADEN: Cruise Ship (LE PONANT) hijacked 04 Apr 08 while in position
13:20N-050:23E, 80NM north of Caluula, Somalia. The French maritime transport company CMA-CGM and the French government confirmed that the vessel had been seized in the Gulf of Aden. The luxury sailboat was traveling from the Seychelles to the Mediterranean Sea when pirates stormed it in the Gulf of Aden. According to a spokesman for the tour company, a total of 30 crewmembers, mostly French, are onboard the ship but there were no customers onboard (IMB, AP, REUTERS).
7. GULF OF ADEN: Fishing vessel hijacked 02 Apr 08 at 1300 local time while
in position 11:14.9N-047:15.5E, 10NM off the coast of Somalia. Offshore Supply vessel (C-QUEST) picked up two small boats on radar moving towards research vessel (NALIVKIN). The Somaliland Coast Guard (SLCG) was informed and sent out patrol boat (SNAKE I) to investigate the suspicious activity. It was found that three Somali nationals in a small outboard craft, dressed like locals in shirts and trousers, armed with AK-47s, hijacked a Yemeni fishing vessel that was towing two small 7m boats and captured all 15 Yemeni crewmembers. However, when the hijackers were distracted by the (SNAKE I), a captured crewmember dove overboard, cut the towing line of one of the small crafts and escaped. He claims that he is not
aware of where the hijackers were coming from but was told they are heading to Bosaso. He also stated that they were not told what would happen to them and that they just wanted the fishing vessel. The rescued crewmember had a treated wound (bite marks to hand). He made a request that he be put ashore so he could speak to his agent Farah Ali Jama. He will be landed at Berbera (Operator).
8. GULF OF ADEN: Vessel reported suspicious approach 02 Apr 08 at 0220 UTC while underway in position 12:57.4N-049:04.8E, 67NM off coast of Yemen. A high speed motor boat traveling at approximately 25kts suddenly stopped approximately 1 mile off the starboard bow, then slowly altered its course to 075 degrees and passed almost half a mile on the starboard side then finally moved away slowly with a course of 180 degrees again when astern. The suspicious craft was 20m long with no roof, impossible to see any persons onboard. Incident reported by phone to the anti-piracy center in Kuala Lumpur and informed local authorities. The Dubai anti-
piracy center contacted the vessel back (Operator).
9. GULF OF ADEN: Tanker fired upon 01 Apr 08 at 0915 local time while underway in position 13:45.81N -049:18.79E, 36NM off the coast of Yemen. The vessel was later reportedly chased by another five speedboats while in position 14:00.96N-049:42.09E, 41NM off coast of Yemen. One boat was within one mile distance and another five miles away. Three more speedboats were approaching from various directions. Finally, the vessel made its getaway and moved towards the shore of Yemen along with a car carrier and VLCC. The aggressive boats moved away. According to the master, the vessel was attacked by machine guns and a rocket launcher and had damages to the funnel and lifeboat. No injuries to crew (Operator).
10. GULF OF ADEN: Merchant ship fired upon 29 Mar 08, while underway in position 14:12.2N-050:44.8E, 66NM off coast of Yemen. Three boats with armed men onboard approached the vessel and attempted to board. The vessel began evasive maneuvers and raised the ship’s alarm. They called the UKMTO Dubai and requested assistance from a coalition warship, according to instructions. The boats were unable to board the vessel, but continued to follow for two hours. The boats moved away at approximately 1145 local time (Operator).
11. GULF OF ADEN: Tanker reported suspicious approach, warning shots fired 18 Mar 08 at 0850 local time/0350 UTC, while underway in position 12:53.2N-050:14.7E, approximately 60NM north of Caluula, Somalia. Two white hull speedboats approximately five meters long with five armed men in camouflage clothing approached the vessel. The master raised the alarms, alerting the crew and then ordered them to leave the deck. The vessel commenced evasive maneuvers and increased its speed. Men on one of the boats fired shots in the air, but soon moved away from the vessel. The crew continued to exercise vigilance and advised all
vessels in the area regarding the incident (Operator, IMB).
19. SRI LANKA: Sea battle between Sri Lankan Navy (SLN) and LTTE 25 Mar 08 at 0100
local time, off Nayaru seas in Pulmudai. At least one LTTE boat was damaged following a brief
sea confrontation with the Navy. According to the SLN, the clash took place in the same area
where a Navy Fast Attack Craft (FAC) was destroyed a few days ago. The SLN claimed they
were able to prevent the movement of a cluster of Sea Tiger boats from Nayaru to the Pulmudai area by firing on them using the Navy’s FAC (LM: Ministry of Defence, Daily Mirror).
1. GREENPEACE: Vessel (RAINBOW WARRIOR) attempted to stall coal shipment, protestors arrested 25 Mar 08 in the evening at Port Lyttelton, New Zealand. The Greenpeace used their vessel and climbers to prevent a shipment of coal from leaving Lyttelton resulting in the arrest of six people. The police reacted quickly. Thirty officers raced to the scene, storming both vessels, attempting to get rid of the protestors and to get the (RAINBOW WARRIOR) to move. A Spanish protester put herself on the line by being bolted to the anchor chain of the peace vessel. The (RAINBOW WARRIOR) was eventually forced to move and the coal shipment, owned by Solid Energy, set sail for Europe (LM: TVNZ.co.nz).