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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Latest ONI Worldwide Threat to Shippping Report (to 29 Jan 09)

The latest ONI Worldwide Threat to Shippping Report (to 29 Jan 09) can be found here. Highlights:
1. ONI SPECIAL ADVISORY: A suspicious skiff was reported in location 13:52N –050:12E at 0636 UTC on 27 Jan 09, approximately 75 NM southeast of Al Mukalla, Yemen. The suspicious skiff was described as a blue hull speed boat, 10 meters in length with five to six people onboard, heading 358 degrees with a speed of 14 knots. The sighting was reported to a naval warship in the area, which proceeded to investigate the skiff. The warship reported having ceased [sic] five pirates and their ammunition and weapons. Another speed boat was also sighted inthe area. ONI Comment: Somali pirates have recently released multiple vessels after receivingransom payments. Past reporting suggests efforts to hijack additional vessels increase aspreviously hijacked vessels are released. Past reporting also suggests efforts to hijack vesselsincrease as wind speeds decrease. Over the next 48 hours, wave heights are only expected to reach 1 ft., with wind speeds averaging 10 kts, which is very condusive to piracy operations. Pirates appear to be most active and successful when average wind speeds are between 0 to 10 knots. Activity is also reported when winds are between 10 to 15 knots but pirates appear to beless successful under these conditions. Little to no incidents are reported when winds average between 15 to 20+ knots. This time of year, when prevailing monsoon winds are out of the Northeast, wind speeds are lower and more conducive to piracy operations closer to the Yemeni coast and less favorable in the central Gulf of Aden. Information on current wave heights for the Gulf of Aden and east coast of Somalia can be found here: weatheronline (ONI, IMB).
There's more, most of of it previously reported on EagleSpeak.

To simplify matters, here's the latest Gulf of Aden wind forecast, indicating a decrease in winds to 10-15 knot max in most of the GOA:
This may indicate an increase in pirate activity is pending.

Wind barb info from here.

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