Sunday, August 24, 2008

Latest ONI Worldwide Threats to Shipping Report (to 20 August 2008)

Latest ONI Worldwide Threats to Shipping Report (to 20 August 2008)cna be found
here. Highlights:
1. GULF OF ADEN: UKMTO releases flash security alert for the Gulf of Aden, 21 Aug 08. There is extremely high activity in the Gulf of Aden over the past few days with three vessels have been taken and two attacked. Two vessels have been taken this morning on 21 Aug 08. It is strongly advised that vessels transit the region maintaining 35-40NM off the Yemen coast and keep clear of the area bounded by 12:40N-046:40E south of the Somali Coast and from 14:30N-53:00E south to Socotra (remaining at the very least 50nm from the island). It must be pointed out though the last incident with the Chemical Tanker (IRENE) has taken place north of the northern attack line and UKMTO is monitoring this closely. CTF 150 continues to patrol its region (UKMTO).

2. GULF OF ADEN: IMB issues piracy warning to vessels in the Gulf of Aden, 19 Aug 08. The IMB has issued a fresh piracy warning to all vessels sailing in the Gulf of Aden. In addition to the most recent activity, there have been four further hijackings since the beginning of June. Three additional vessels have also been fired upon since that time. IMB Director Pottengal Mukundan stated, “The situation in this region is grave. We are seeing at least one attack every couple of weeks. These pirates are not afraid to use significant firepower in attempts to bring vessels under their control. Unless further action is taken, seafarers remain in serious danger whilst navigating the GOA. In all reported instances, vessels have been approached by speedboats containing men armed with machine guns and RPG launchers. In their attempts to slow down and board the vessels, the pirates have opened fire against the unarmed merchant ships. It is understood that coalition warships have intervened and helped prevent two of the attacks. This is in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1816 (2008) that allows states cooperating with Somalia to enter its territorial waters in order to repress acts of piracy and armed robber “by all necessary means”. Mr. Mukundan continued, “Whilst the intervention of coalition navies has helped in isolated cases, it is by no means a long-term solution. It is clear that the threat or presence of coalition navies has done little to stem the tide of attacks in this region.” The IMB advises that Master maintain strict 24-hour piracy watches and be especially wary of any approaching smaller crafts. The IMB urges the reporting of all actual or attempted attacks, as well as any suspicious vessel movements, to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre. ONI COMMENT: Shortly after this reporting was released, the (BUNGA MELATI DUA) was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden. Three more vessels, including the (IRENE were hijacked on 21 Aug 08 in the eastern Gulf of Aden as well (IMB, ONI).
1. SOMALIA: Tug (YENAGOA OCEAN) hijacked 4 Aug 08, 0300 local time, near
Bosasso. The vessel traveled to an unknown destination. Pirates are reportedly demanding 1 million USD. The vessel had a crew of nine Nigerians (Operator, IMB, LM: thisday.com).
2. GULF OF ADEN: Cargo ship hijacked 21 Aug 08 at 0945 UTC while underway in
position 12:57.9N- 048:56.7E, 107NM south of Al Mukalla, Yemen. No further information (Operator, IMB).
3. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk cargo reported suspicious approach 21 Aug 08 at 0920 local
time/0620 UTC, while underway in position 13:15.8N-048:52.8E, approximately 50NM off the Yemen coast. The vessel detected two boats. The first boat was of dark grey without a superstructure and several people on board, and the second boat (a little further away from the first boat) white in color. Both of them were detected from five to ten degrees off the port side at a radar distance of 1.5 miles. The first boat crossed the vessel’s bow from port to starboard. The vessel took evasive maneuvers, altering to the starboard side. The dark grey boat was reportedly
attempting to follow the vessel. The speed of the suspected boat was 7.5kts. Then the vessel inverted the course to 90 degrees for 15 minutes and the suspected boat moved away. The vessel then altered its course to 180 degrees for 30 minutes. At 1020 local time the vessel resumed its initial course of 257 degrees and proceeded with a speed of 15 kts following another vessel at a distance of 8.5 miles from the bow (Operator, IMB).
4. GULF OF ADEN: Chemical tanker (IRENE) hijacked 21 Aug 08 at 0358 UTC, while underway in position 14:26.42N–049:56.46E, 45NM east of Al Mukalla, Yemen. The vessel is transporting approximately 10,000 mt of chemical / flammable cargo. There are 19 crewmembers onboard, two Russians, one Croatian, and 16 Filipinos (Operator, IMB, REUTERS).
5. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk cargo hijacked 21 Aug 08 at 0223 UTC, while underway in
position 13:49.3N–050:23.9E, approximately 82NM southeast of Al Mukalla, Yemen. The vessel was fired upon and boarded, no further information (Operator, IMB).
6. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk cargo reported suspicious approach 20 Aug 08 while underway in position 13:37N-050:11E, 79NM southeast of Al Mukalla, Yemen (UKMTO).
7. GULF OF ADEN: Chemical tanker (BUNGA MELATI DUA) hijacked 19 Aug 08, 1730 local time while underway in position 12:45.2N–047:57.7E, 123NM southwest of Mukulla, Yemen. There are 39 crewmembers onboard the vessel, traveling from Indonesia to Rotterdam with a cargo of crude palm oil. No direct contact has been made with the captain of the ship (Operator, IMB, BBC).
8. GULF OF ADEN: Cargo vessel (THOR STAR) hijacked 12 Aug 08 at 1418 UTC while underway in position 13:07.35N-050:10.75E, 75NM northwest of Caluula. A Yemeni naval official reportedly stated that the ship sent out a distress signal after coming under heavy fire from armed pirates about 100 miles off the Yemen coast. The ship is believed to have been en route from Southeast Asia with a cargo of timber. The vessel has a crew of 28 Thai nationals (Operator, UKMTO, IMB, TW).
9. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk carrier (GEM OF KILAKARAI) fired upon 8 Aug 08 at 0515 UTC (Operator) 0345 UTC (IMB) while underway in position 13:11N–049:55E, 85NM northwest of Caluula. Pirates in two white speedboats, armed with guns and rocket propelled grenade launchers chased and fired small arms. They fired an RPG at the vessel; however, the RPG did not detonate. The master contacted the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre for assistance. The USS PELELIU was reportedly ten miles away when the attack occurred and responded by sending three helicopters to the scene. Upon seeing the warship, the pirate boats moved away. The warship sent a team to dispose of the RPG found on the bridge wing. No reported injuries
(Operator, UKMTO, IMB, LM: cargonewsasia.com, military.com).
10. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk carrier (STELLA MARIS) hijacked 20 Jul 08 at 0430 local
time/0011 UTC while underway in position 13:16N-050:02E, approximately 87NM northwest of Caluula, Somalia. The vessel was enroute Suez when UKMTO Dubai was alerted via INMARSAT that pirates were onboard, repeated three times before the line went dead. No returned calls were answered. The ships operators were alerted and at the same time a SSAS message was received by the operators and forwarded to UKMTO. According to Puntland presidential advisor Bile Mohamoud Qabowsade, there were 38 heavily armed pirates that stormed the ship while sailing in international waters. Hared Ise Umar, the District Commissioner of Caluula, stated that the hijackers sailed the vessel close to Caluula and indicated he expected the vessel to sail to Eyl (Operator, UKMTO, IMB, AFP, LM: hornafrik.com).

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