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Monday, September 29, 2008

ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping Report (to 27 Sept 08)

Latest ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping Report (to 27 Sept 08) can be found here. Highlights:
1. GULF OF ADEN: Tanker (GENIUS) hijacked on 26 Sep 08 while underway in position 13:32N 048:26E, 30 NM off Yemen. The attack was reported to the shipping company by the ship’s captain by radio shortly before the pirates boarded the vessel. The pirates fired a number of shots into the air to bring the ship to a halt. According to the Greek coastguard, 19 Romanian sailors are aboard the tanker (IMB, LM: VisitBulgaria.info).
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2. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk carrier (GREAT CREATION) hijacked on 18 Sep 08 at 0618 UTC while in position 14:13.0N - 049:59.0E, Gulf of Aden. About eight pirates armed with guns boarded the vessel. The vessel was drifting due to engine problems and had requested assistance. Pirates took 25 crewmembers hostage consisting of 24 Chinese nationals and a Sri Lankan master (IMB, BBC, LL).
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3. GULF OF ADEN: Chemical tanker reported suspicious approach 18 Sep 08 at 0630 UTC
while underway in-between the positions 13:57N-049:34E and 13:54N - 049:31E, 40 nm southeast of Al Mukalla, Yemen. Two white hulled boats with several persons onboard aggressively approached the tanker underway with alleged intent to board The ship’s master raised alarm, increased speed, took evasive maneuvers and contacted coalition forces. SSAS was activated and crew mustered. The boats continued to follow until 0730 UTC when the boats aborted the attempt (Operator, IMB, UKMTO).
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4. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk cargo ship reported suspicious approach on 16 Sep 08 at 0830 UTC while in position 12:28N-44:53E, 20nm miles southwest from Aden, Yemen. A speed boat with five armed pirates approached and attempted to board the vessel. The master raised general alarm, crew alerted and sea water thrown against pirates by fire hoses. The pirates attempted three times to board the vessel unsuccessfully. After ten minutes the speed boat left and the attack was aborted. The master tried to call CMF by phone and VHF but could not receive a signal. There was no crew injury or damage to the vessel or its cargo (UKMTO).
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5. GULF OF ADEN: Chemical tanker reported suspicious approach on 13 Sep 08 at 0440 UTC while in position 13:32.5N - 048:47.5E, Gulf of Aden. One speed boat with seven men armed with guns chased the tanker while it was transiting westbound. The Master increased speed and took evasive maneuvers to prevent boarding and altered course southward to rendezvous with a coalition warship. Speedboats approached as close as two cables before aborting the attempt (IMB, UKMTO).
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6. GULF OF ADEN: Chemical tanker (STOLT VALOR) hijacked 15 Sep 08 at 1047
UTC/1316 local time, while underway in position 13:33N–049:09E, 60NM south of Al Mukalla,
Yemen. There are approximately 15 pirates onboard and 22 crewmembers held hostage. The
crew consists of 18 Indians, two Filipinos, a Bangladeshi and a Russian (IMB, AFP).
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7. GULF OF ADEN: General cargo vessel fired upon 15 Sep 08 at 1453 UTC while
underway in position 13:38.87N-048:59.0E. The duty officer onboard the vessel noticed a
possible red mother-ship releasing speedboats. The blue speedboat had approximately six pirates
onboard and approached the vessel and opened fire. The Master contacted the coalition warships
on VHF 16 but received no response. Anti-piracy measures were enforced, the speedboats
followed for ten minutes before moving away (UKMTO, IMB, Operator).
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8. GULF OF ADEN: Tanker (GOLDEN ELIZABETH) reported suspicious approach 13 Sep
08 at 0845 local time/0445 UTC while underway in position 13:32.5N-048:47.5E. A suspicious
green and white wooden boat, 7-10 meters long traveling at approximately 20kts had a crew of
no less than eight wearing dark camouflage clothing approached the vessel on port quarter with a
CPA of 1-2 cables. No arms or ammunition was visible. There was one tanker about 2NM
ahead and three vessels meeting off port bow. The OOW observed a small boat approaching
from port quarter. The Master ordered evasive maneuvers and sounded the alarms and activated
INMARSAT-C Distress alarm and ISPS Piracy/Terrorist alarms, then reported the event to the
UN Coalition Forces who advised the vessel to proceed on a southerly course to meet with them
as they were 14NM south. The suspicious boat moved away after a hard wheel turn to starboard
pushed the boat away. At 1000 local time/0600 UTC while in position 13:27.8N-048:34.1E, the
Master confirmed the vessel is safely proceeding to its destination, Suez under a high level of
anti-piracy measures (UKMTO, IMB, Operator, LM: Maritime Global Net).
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9. GULF OF ADEN: General cargo vessel reported suspicious activity 11 Sep 08 at 0600
local time/0300 UTC while underway in position 12:38.3N-045:39.0E. The vessel reported
approximately 25 speedboats in the vicinity in position 12:35.9N-045:35.3E (UKMTO, Operator).
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10. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk carrier reported suspicious approach 11 Sep 08 at 0925 UTC
while underway in position 13:17N-047:36E. A blue speedboat with three masked men onboard
reportedly followed the vessel at full speed. The speedboat was initially stationary before
moving away. The vessel took evasive maneuvers, and other preventative actions. The vessel
resumed voyage (UKMTO, Operator).
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11. GULF OF ADEN: Chemical tanker reported attacked 11 Sep 08 at 1335 UTC, while
underway in position 12:24N-045:23E, off Yemen coast. A failed piracy attack was reported by
the vessel’s Master. Naval helicopters from UKMTO promptly arrived and chased the pirates.
There were no injuries or damage to property or pollution (UKMTO, Operator).
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12. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk carrier reported suspicious approach 10 Sep 08 at 0125 UTC
while underway in position 15:46N-053:07E. Three suspicious small boats were reportedly
following the vessel. Coalition warships were urgently requested to render necessary assistance.
At 0330 UTC the vessel reported that the three suspicious small boats have moved away but
another one is reportedly following the vessel, approximately 5NM away. Last located 15:48N-
052:57E (IMB, Operator, UKMTO).
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13. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk carrier (BRIGHT RUBY) hijacked 10 Sep 08 at 0657 UTC while
underway in position 13:09N-047:57E, approximately 100NM southwest of Al Mukalla, Yemen.
There are 21 crewmembers on board the vessel, eight Koreans and 13 Myanmar (IMB,
UKMTO).
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14. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk carrier fired upon 10 Sep 08 at 0343 UTC while underway in
position 12:39.4N-048:23.0E. One speedboat chased and fired at the vessel. The vessel took
evasive actions and contacted the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre for assistance. They duty officer
at the Centre informed the coalition navy which sent a warship and a helicopter that flew over
the speedboat and interrupted the attack. The pirates moved away. The vessel continued its
passage to its destination port. There was no damage to the vessel or injury to crew (UKMTO,
IMB, Operator).
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15. GULF OF ADEN: General cargo vessel fired upon 9 Sep 08 at 1513 UTC while
underway in position 13:24N-048:20E. Eight pirates in a skiff reportedly chased the vessel.
They fired upon the vessel and attempted to board. The Master contacted the coalition warships.
A helicopter intervened and the pirates aborted the attempt (IMB).
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16. GULF OF ADEN: Container ship reported suspicious approach 8 Sep 08 at 0400 UTC
while underway in position 12:54.2N-046:04.2E. Two suspicious speedboats crossed the bow
from starboard to port at 20kts approximately 1NM away before altering course towards the
vessel. The vessel altered course heading towards the speedboats in a threat to hit them. They
avoided by turning starboard and passing closely on port side. Observation by binoculars
revealed a vessel approximately 120 meters long with a person holding a rifle onboard. The
speedboats eventually moved away (Operator, IMB, UKMTO).
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17. GULF OF ADEN: Tanker reported suspicious approach 8 Sep 08 at 0655 UTC while
underway in position 12:45.48N-046:05.3E. There were reportedly more than ten speedboats in the surrounding area with many personal on board. Incident was reported to coastal authority (Operator, IMB, UKMTO).
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18. GULF OF ADEN: IMB reported suspicious vessel, per 8 Sep 08 reporting. A suspicious
boat was transmitting the AIS with a different call sign – VRWO. The IMO and MMSI number remains unchanged and untraceable. The passing ship reported to have seen the names as (EAST TRADER) in position 14:13.73N-050:18.45E, 13.7kts at 0200 UTC. All ships are advised to stay clear of this suspicious vessel (IMB).
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19. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk carrier (MONIMA) reported suspicious approach 7 Sep 08 at
1500 local time, while underway in position 13:06.87N-045:41E, approximately 12NM off the
Yemen coast. Three speedboats reportedly chased the vessel. The Master contacted the IMB
Piracy Reporting Centre to inform them of the situation and requested immediate assistance from warships. Two of the three boats continued to follow at a distance of 2.5NM. The Master suspected that the perpetrators may be armed with machine guns and may board any time. TheYemeni coastguard arrived and the three boats moved away at the sight of the coastguard boats (Operator, IMB, UKMTO, LM: The News Straits Times Online).
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20. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk carrier reported suspicious approach 7 Sep 08 at 1020 UTC
while underway in position 12:46N–045:54E. Suspected pirates in two speedboats reportedly
chased the vessel. The owner contacted the IMB Piracy Reporting Center (PRC) for assistance. The duty officer at PRC informed authorities to render necessary assistance. The Master was advised to enforce anti-piracy measures to delay and prevent boarding. The authorities advised the PRC that every effort was being made to send assistance to the vessel. At 1343 UTC, the Master reported the suspicious boats moved away and was continuing passage to its destination port (IMB).
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21. GULF OF ADEN: Tanker (FRONT VOYAGER) fired upon 6 Sep 08 at 0950 UTC while
underway in position 12:54.9N–047:05.1E, 39NM off the coast of Yemen. The vessel spotted a blue-hulled speedboat with five armed men onboard approximately 6NM away. The speedboat approached the vessel and opened fire. The alarm was raised, speed increased and coalition warships contacted. When the coalition warship and navy helicopter arrived, the speedboat aborted the attack and moved towards a potential mother-ship. The vessel sustained damages; however no crewmembers injured (Operator, IMB, UKMTO, LM: Aftenposten).
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22. GULF OF ADEN: Tanker fired upon 6 Sep 08 at 0705 UTC while underway in position
12:57.8N-047:01.6E. A white speedboat, less than 10 meters long with approximately five to six persons on board approach from port side, near the accommodation ladder. The general alarm was raised and fog horn was sounded. The Chief Officer directed a fire hose at the speedboat. The persons in the boat signaled to reduce speed while pointing an RPG at the Chief Officer. The Chief Officer dropped the fire hose and entered the galley and then went to the bridge to assist the Master. The Master began evasive maneuvers while the Chief Engineer advised him to
give maximum revolutions on the engines. The Master activated the SSAS on the bridge and
broadcasted a mayday message on VHF.16. The first reported attempt to board resulted in the
speedboat rolling heavily in the water because it was caught in the stern wash of the vessel. As a result, approximately three to four persons were washed out of the speedboat. The speedboat recovered its crew and resumed chasing the vessel again. By this time, UKMTO had contacted the vessel on satellite phone and obtained the position and situation. The vessel contacted IMB Piracy Reporting Center on the satellite phone and advised the situation. The speedboat approached a second time and reportedly chased the vessel for a considerable amount of time, while narrowing the gap steadily. The speedboat came very close and the crew was seen trying to raise a ladder to board the vessel. The vessel continued evasive maneuvers when suddenly the speedboat engine stalled because it was following in the stern wash of the vessel. Ricochets were heard near the boiler room and was later determined that the vessel was fired upon. The speedboat met up with the suspected mother-ship which was a raft with an orange cover before
chasing the vessel again. For a while, the distance was steadily reducing. At 0812 UTC, it was determined by radar that the speedboat was moving away. Coalition warships were informed and proceeded to assist the vessel (Operator, IMB).
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23. GULF OF ADEN: General cargo vessel fired upon 5 Sep 08 at 0510 UTC, while
underway in position 12:57N-047:04E, 118NM east of Aden, Yemen. The ship reportedly
sighted a suspected mother-ship described as a blue tug towing a small boat about six miles off, bearing 155 degrees from the ship. At 0515 UTC, a small boat began approaching the ship at high speed. They duty officer raised the alarm and all crew mustered. At 0530 UTC, four armed suspected pirates were seen on the vessel. The vessel had one man steering the vessel, one man with a rocket launcher, and two men armed with machine guns that reportedly fired at the vessel, and reportedly attempted to board. The ship increased speed, altered course, and began evasive maneuvers to prevent the small vessel from coming alongside the ship. The crew used a hose, bottles, shackles, screws, dishes, etc, to throw at the pirates. The pirates reportedly attacked the ship four times with no success. The pirates moved away at 0600 UTC (Operator, IMB).
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24. GULF OF ADEN: Container ship reported suspicious approach 3 Sep 08 at 0310 local
time while underway in position 14:18.3N-050:34E. The vessel detected an unlit speedboat
approaching the vessel approximately 2.2NM on starboard bow. As the speedboat approached
closer to 1.5NM, a search light was directed on the boat and visually sighted. The speedboat was approximately one mile on starboard beam when it altered course and moved towards the vessel. Coalition naval forces were contacted immediately. The fast boat increased speed and reportedly chased the vessel before moving away. At 0332 local time, two fishing vessels were sighted approximately 7.5NM on port and starboard bow of the vessel, suspected of being the mother-ship for these boats. Latest position of two vessels was 1415.1 N-050 47.4E and 14:25.4N-050:45.3E (Operator, IMB, UKMTO).
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25. GULF OF ADEN: Tanker reported suspicious approach 3 Sep 08 at 2030 UTC, while
underway in position 13:44.4N-049:02.2 E. The suspicious boat traveling at 14.5kts towards the
vessel. Coalition forces were informed of the boats location and then the boat altered course and moved away (Operator, IMB, UKMTO).
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26. GULF OF ADEN: General cargo vessel (AL MANSOURAH) hijacked 3 Sep 08 at 0900
local time while underway in position 14:27N-049:40E, 17 miles off Al Mukalla, Yemen. The
pirates reportedly sailed the vessel and anchored it off Caluula, Somalia. There are reportedly 25 crewmembers onboard. The vessel was enroute Bin Quasim, Pakistan (Bloomberg, IMB, LM: Xinhua, Maritime News Russia).
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27. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk carrier (ORSOLINA BOTTIGLIERI) fired upon 3 Sep 08 at
1450 UTC while underway in position 13:36.8N-049:13.16E approximately 40NM off the
Yemen coast. Reported pirates attempted to close in on the vessel for boarding; however the
vessel was able to increase its speed and diverted its course. A coalition navy warship was
dispatched to the area. The pirate boat moved away. No injuries to crew, or damage to vessel
(IMB, LM: rainews24.it).
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28. GULF OF ADEN: Yacht (CARRE D'AS IV) hijacked 2 Sep 08 at 1853 UTC,
approximately 80NM north of Caluula, Somalia. The vessel reportedly departed Cocos Islands on 5 Aug 08 enroute to Aden, Yemen. There are reportedly two French citizens onboard and one Australian. However, recent press report from the French authorities shows only two French crew. On 15 Sep 08, French soldiers reportedly rescued the two crewmembers. The yacht has been towed away from Somali waters to Djibouti. One pirate was killed during the rescue and six more arrested (UKMTO, AFP, LM: afrol News, marinelog.com).
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29. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk carrier reported suspicious approach 1 Sep 08 at 0600 UTC
while underway in position 13:40.5N-049:08.7E. The suspicious boat was spotted on starboard bow at a distance of 3.7 miles. The vessel began evasive maneuvers. The suspicious boat reportedly began to chase the vessel at a speed of 17kts. A coalition warship was contacted and responded to the emergency call. When the warship arrived, the suspicious boat began distancing from the vessel and eventually moved away. The suspicious boat was described as having a brown hull with a white stripe and a white superstructure (Operator, IMB, UKMTO).
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30. GULF OF ADEN: LPG tanker reported suspicious approach 1 Sep 08 at 0735 local time
while underway in position 12:48.5N-049:42.3E, Gulf of Aden. Two small speedboats
approached the vessel from starboard side with entering ladders. A mother-ship was sighted
about 1NM away. The alarm was raised; the vessel increased its speed and contacted a coalition warship. The suspicious boats moved away after a few minutes. The security alarm was not engaged because the vessel was reportedly in close contact with an American Coalition warship. All clear and voyage continue as normal at 0800 local time (Operator, IMB, UKMTO).
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31. GULF OF ADEN: Container ship reported suspicious approach at 0250 UTC, while
underway in position 11:23.32N-066:22.72E, per 1 Sep 08 reporting. The vessel reported one
suspicious blue fishing trawler with one speedboat. No further information (UKMTO).
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32. GULF OF ADEN: Chemical tanker (BUNGA MELATI 5) hijacked 29 Aug 08 at 1400
UTC while underway in position 13:11N-046:38E, approximately 14NM off the coast of Yemen.
The vessel was reportedly chased by a speedboat and requested coalition warship assistance.
The vessel’s crew activated hoses and attempted to ward off the attackers. The vessel was then
fired upon for approximately ten minutes before being boarded. Communication then went dead.
A warship arrived, but by then, the pirates had altered the course of the vessel and headed
towards Somali waters. The vessel reportedly has 41 crewmembers on board. ONI
COMMENT: This location is in the central Gulf of Aden approximately 135NM farther to the
west from previous hijack locations indicating an increased operating area for piracy in the Gulf
of Aden (Operator, ONI, UKMTO, LL, IMB).
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33. GULF OF ADEN: Tanker reported suspicious approach 26 Aug 08 at approximately
2052 local time/1652 UTC while underway in position 12:27.29N-045:02.10E. Two suspicious
small boats reportedly chased the vessel. The general alarm was raised; the crew mustered and
took evasive maneuvers. The small craft moved away. The incident was reported to the IMB
and the vessel’s captain requested assistance from nearby coalition task force elements. There
was reportedly one fishing boat drifting in position 12:22.7N-044:47.3E, which was described as
possibly a suspicious trawling mother-ship. The vessel was proceeding to the Suez. UKMTO
NOTE: No weapons seen and no concerted attempt to attack. CTF-150 investigated and now
assesses mistaken identity of Aden Fishermen (IMB, UKMTO, Operator).
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34. GULF OF ADEN: Container ship reported suspicious approach 26 Aug 08 while
underway in position 12:29.7N–044:59.44E. The vessel requested assistance. UKMTO Note:
No weapons were seen and no concerted attempt to attack. CTF-150 investigated and now
assess mistaken identity of Aden fishermen (UKMTO, IMB, Operator).
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35. GULF OF ADEN: Cargo vessel reported suspicious approach 26 Aug 08 at 1040 local
time/0740 UTC while underway in position 13:30N-048:34E, 87NM southwest of Al Mukalla,
Yemen. While transiting the Gulf of Aden the vessel reported a number of suspicious boats to a
Coalition Warship in the area. The vessel kept monitoring the suspicious boats and noticed two
suspicious boats at the vessels port quarter about two miles off. The vessel increased its speed to
move away from the suspicious boats (IMB, Operator).
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36. GULF OF ADEN: Vessel reported suspicious approach 26 Aug 08 while underway near
Aden, Yemen. A vessel heard an announcement on VHF Ch. 16 that another near by vessel
stated that it had spotted three speedboats that had pushed away from a reported mother-ship and
was traveling at 22kts. The position of the mother-ship was 12:28N-044:44E, 25NM southwest
of Aden, Yemen. UKMTO COMMENT: This appears to be a case of mistaken identity. It has
been assessed by CTF-150 to be the Aden fishing fleet being mistaken for pirates (IMB,
UKMTO).
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37. INDIAN OCEAN: Roll-on/roll-off cargo vessel (FAINA) hijacked 25 Sep 08 at 1600
local time while in position 02:01N-050:40 E, approximately 280NM east of Mogadishu,
Somalia. Three pirate boats attacked the ship. Pirates, armed with automatic weapons, then
boarded the vessel (IMB, AP)
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38. INDIAN OCEAN: USNS (JOHN LENTHALL) reported suspicious approach 23 Sep 08
while underway off the central east coast of Somalia. Despite defensive measures to deter them
from approaching, the small boats continued to approach the ship. An embarked security team
aboard the ship fired warning shots in the vicinity of two small boats. The rounds impacted the
water approximately 50 yards from the closest boat and resulted in both small boats ending their
pursuit. All shots were accounted for as they entered the water. There were no reports of
casualties. “This incident is clear proof that all mariners must remain vigilant,” said Captain
Steve Kelley, the commander responsible for all Military Sealift Command (MSC) ships in the
region. “I am extremely pleased with the actions taken by the ship’s master and ultimately by the
security personnel aboard. They initially used defensive measures and when those weren’t
enough the security personnel took action to defend the ship.” While it is unclear if personnel on
the boats were intent on attacking the 41,000-ton ship, it is clear they were not following the
international rules of the road observed by mariners around the globe. More importantly, the
location of the incident, the types of boats involved (small open skiffs), and the maneuvering
they undertook was consistent with reports from previous attacks on merchant vessels in the
region. (LM: Combined Maritime Forces Public Affairs, Release #116-08)
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