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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Latest ONI Worldwide Threats to Shipping Report (to 6 May 09)

The latest ONI Worldwide Threats to Shipping Report (to 6 May 09) here. Highlights:
1. SOMALIA: EU Convoy Ships 'Less Likely To Suffer Pirate Attacks', 5 May 09. Just one vessel registered with the European Union’s anti-piracy operation was successfully hijacked in the first three months of the operation, according to the latest Brussels’ figures. Companies registering ships via the EU Navfor website were less likely to be victims of an attack than those choosing to go it alone off the Somali coast. “Since 12 December 2008, 41 attacks have been confirmed in the area of operations, resulting in seven actual hijackings. Only one of the seven hijacked vessels was following EU Navfor recommendations,” said the EU Council of Ministers, referring to the period to March 1. The EU Atalanta operation, the bloc’s first maritime venture,
escorted 11 World Food Programme vessels over the period, carrying 60,000 tonnes of food each week to the strife-ridden nation. Rather than being escorted, commercial vessels are organized into convoys which are then watched over by EU navy vessels stationed at strategic points. Ship operators register vessels over a website and are given convoy start times and locations. “The EU mission is not alone in the region,” the Council of Ministers pointed out. “Efficient coordination both with the shipping industry and with other naval units deployed by maritime powers (Russia, China and India) or groups (US-led coalition TF 151 + NATO) is therefore essential. “The Maritime Security Centre (Horn of Africa) website, developed by Operational Headquarters in conjunction with the shipping industry, and voluntary exchange of information and best practices are the means through which efficient coordination is being achieved.” The council, which represents the EU member states, is now under pressure to extend the Atalanta mission beyond its 12-month mandate, which expires this December (LL).
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2. SOMALIA: Russian Navy captures Somali pirates, 29 Apr 09. The Russian destroyer (ADMIRAL PANTELEEV) seized a pirate vessel with 29 people on board off the Somali coast, Russian news reports say. Guns and navigation equipment were found during a search of the pirate boat. The substantial haul of arms and equipment on board is said to include seven Kalashnikov machineguns, handguns of different calibers, satellite navigation devices, and a large number of empty shells. They said the suspected pirates were thought to have launched two unsuccessful attacks against a tanker with a Russian crew. It is not yet clear whether or not the suspects will be tried (BBC, LL).
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1. GULF OF ADEN: Vessel fired upon 6 May 09 at 0910 UTC while underway in position 13:34N – 048:38E. Armed men in a skiff fired shots at the vessel while underway. The captain onducted evasive maneuvers, and in doing so, caused the pirate skiff to capsize, knocking six pirates into the water. EU warships arrived on the scene to investigate (IMB).

2. GULF OF ADEN: General cargo ship (VICTORIA) hijacked 5 May 09 at 1304 UTC
while underway in position 13:24N – 049:22E. Pirates boarded and hijacked the vessel while underway. Eleven crewmembers are currently onboard (IMB, Bloomberg).

3. GULF OF ADEN: Vessel (MICHAEL S) fired upon 5 May 09 at 0444Z while underway in position 13:09N – 049:08E. Four men onboard a boat opened fire on the vessel with an RPG. An Italian frigate in the vicinity arrived to provide assistance and the vessel was able to escape (Operator, LM: timesofmalta.com).

4. GULF OF ADEN: Vessel fired upon 28 Apr 09 at 0630 UTC while underway in position 12:31N – 046:07E. One blue colored speed boat with six armed men onboard approached the vessel and opened fire with automatic weapons. The vessel conducted evasive maneuvers and used rocket flares to prevent the boarding. Nearby coalition warships were contacted. The speed boat aborted the attempt approximately 30 minutes later. No injuries to the crew or damage to the vessel was reported (Operator, IMB).

5. GULF OF ADEN: Tanker (GNA) hijacked 26 Apr 09 at 1130 UTC while underway in position 13:25N – 047:24E. The vessel was attacked and hijacked by approximately 14 pirates. The tanker was later taken back by Yemeni forces (AFP, IMB).

6. GULF OF ADEN: General cargo ship fired upon 25 Apr 09 at 0600 local time while
underway in position 14:00N – 051:31E. Two small speed boats with five persons armed with guns approached the vessel. When they were approximately three cables away from the vessel, they opened fire using automatic weapons. The master enforced anti-piracy measures and prevented the boarding (IMB).

7. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk carrier (PATRIOT) hijacked 25 Apr 09 at 0335 local time while underway in position 14:01N – 051:34E. Pirates in skiffs armed with guns attacked and hijacked the vessel. Seventeen crew members are onboard (Reuters, IMB).

8. GULF OF ADEN: Vessel fired upon 20 Apr 09 at 1115 UTC while underway in position 12:43N – 047:48E. Two speed boats with five or six armed men onboard chased the vessel with gun shots being fired. The vessel conducted evasive maneuvers and increased speed. Coalition forces were informed and a helicopter was deployed to the location. Upon sighting the helicopter, the men in the speed boats aborted their attempt (Operator, IMB).

9. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk carrier fired upon 20 Apr 09 at 0520 UTC while underway in position 13:15N – 047:40E. Twelve men armed with automatic weapons in two white speed boats chased and fired upon the vessel. The captain conducted evasive maneuvers and enforced anti-piracy measures to prevent the boarding (IMB).
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22. INDIAN OCEAN: Vessel reported attempted boarding 5 May 09 at 0930 local time while underway in position 02:38S – 053:49E, approximately 155NM northwest of Port Victoria, Seychelles. Eight pirates in two speed boats armed with automatic weapons approached the vessel with a speed of 23 knots. A third boat was observed further back and assessed as being a mother ship. The captain increased speed and alerted the crew. The two speed boats arrived approximately 10 meters off the stern and attempted to get alongside the vessel several times in an attempt to board the vessel by using a portable ladder. The vessel conducted evasive maneuvers for 20 minutes before the pirates abandoned their pursuit (Operator, IMB).

23. INDIAN OCEAN: Bulk carrier (ARIANA) hijacked 2 May 09 at 0230 UTC while
underway in position 07:19S – 052:11E, approximately 245NM southwest of Port Victoria, Seychelles. Armed pirates attacked and hijacked the vessel while underway. Twenty four crewmembers are currently onboard (IMB, Reuters).

24. INDIAN OCEAN: Tanker fired upon 2 May 09 at 0530 local time while underway in position 06:07S – 050:12E, approximately 320NM southwest of Port Victoria, Seychelles. A mother ship and two speed boats were observed at a distance of 6NM from the vessel. The captain altered course and the boats started chasing the vessel. The captain raised the alarm, sent out a distress message, increased speed, and took evasive maneuvers. The boats came close to the vessel when the second speed boat suddenly stopped, assessed as having engine problems. The first boat fired upon the vessel with an RPG but aborted the attack as the distance from the
mother ship increased to 20NM. No injuries to the crew were reported (IMB).

25. INDIAN OCEAN: Vessel reported suspicious approach 1 May 09 at 1100 local time while underway in position 08:04S – 057:11E, approximately 220NM southeast of Port Victoria, Seychelles. Vessel reported being chased for approximately 20 minutes after the suspicious craft diverted its course and headed towards the vessel’s direction. The captain conducted evasive maneuvers until they were able to increase their distance before the craft resumed its previous course (Operator, IMB).

26. INDIAN OCEAN: Vessel (ALMEZAAN) hijacked 1 May 09 while underway
approximately 100NM off the coast of Somalia. Armed pirates attacked and hijacked the vessel. The vessel was reportedly released without ransom 6 May 09 after local Somali traders confirmed the vessel was chartered by local traders (IMB, AFP).

27. INDIAN OCEAN: Bulk carrier fired upon 1 May 09 at 0540 UTC while underway in position 04:44S – 060:04E, approximately 270NM east of Port Victoria, Seychelles. Pirates in two small boats armed with automatic weapons opened fire on the vessel. The duty officer raised the alarm and the crew locked all access. The first boat attempted to board the vessel using a ladder and the second boat fired upon the vessel at the bridge and accommodation. The attack was aborted 40 minutes later due to evasive maneuvering and high freeboard of the vessel. No injuries to the crew were reported, while the vessel sustained minor damage (IMB).

28. INDIAN OCEAN: Tanker fired upon 1 May 09 at 0330 UTC while underway in position 03:05S – 053:19E, approximately 160NM northwest of Port Victoria, Seychelles. A mother ship and two speed boats were observed by the vessel at a distance of 8NM. The speedboats approached at a speed of 22 knots and fired upon the bridge with automatic weapons and RPGs. The pirates tried to board the vessel five times using a hand ladder. Due to the ship’s high freeboard and evasive maneuvering, the boarding was prevented. No injuries to the crew were reported, and the ship sustained minor damage (IMB).

29. INDIAN OCEAN: Container ship fired upon 30 Apr 09 at 1224 UTC while underway in position 04:01S – 059:33E, approximately 250NM east of Port Victoria, Seychelles. Eight pirates in two speedboats armed with guns and RPGs chased the vessel. The master raised the alarm, increased speed, and conducted evasive maneuvers. The pirates fired upon the vessel, but later aborted the attack. No injuries to the crew were reported. The ship sustained minor damages. One mother ship, 10-15 meters in length was observed at 3NM from the vessel (IMB).

30. INDIAN OCEAN: Vessel (JOLLY SMERALDO) fired upon 30 Apr 09 at 0350 UTC while underway in position 00:36N – 050:08E, approximately 250NM off the coast of Somalia. Pirates armed with automatic weapons in a skiff chased the vessel and opened fire. The captain conducted evasive maneuvers and escaped the boarding (IMB, PRESS TV, UPI).

31. INDIAN OCEAN: Container ship fired upon 30 Apr 09 at 0224 UTC while underway in position 07:46S – 051:32E, approximately 290NM southwest of Port Victoria, Seychelles. A speed boat with 6-7 persons onboard and a second speed boat with 3-4 persons onboard chased the vessel and opened fire with automatic weapons and RPGs. The vessel sustained damages to its starboard side accommodation. One RPG shell fell onboard but did not explode (IMB).

32. INDIAN OCEAN: Vessel (JOLLY SMERALDO) fired upon 29 Apr 09 at 1250 UTC while underway in position 01:40S – 047:12E, approximately 245NM southeast of Mogadishu, Somalia. Pirates armed with automatic weapons chased and fired upon the vessel. The captain conducted evasive maneuvers and prevented the boarding (IMB, PRESS TV, UPI).

33. INDIAN OCEAN: Vessel fired upon 29 Apr 09 at 1550 local time while underway in position 01:40S – 047:12E, approximately 280NM southeast of Barawe, Somalia. Five men armed with automatic weapons in a white colored speed boat approached the vessel from the starboard quarter and began opening fire. The captain increased speed and conducted evasive maneuvers while activating fire hoses. After 15 minutes, the speed boat aborted the attack (Operator, IMB).

34. INDIAN OCEAN: Vessel fired upon 28 Apr 09 at 0704 UTC while underway in
position 13:49N – 056:30E, approximately 380NM northeast of Caluula, Somalia. Two skiffs were launched from a mother ship and fired two RPGs at the bridge and missed. Automatic weapons were fired and struck the vessel on the starboard side. No injuries were reported (Operator, IMB).

35. INDIAN OCEAN: Tanker (NS COMMANDER) fired upon 27 Apr 09 at 1050 UTC while underway in position 13:10N – 056:37E, approximately 320NM east of Caluula, Somalia. One speed boat with three armed men approached the vessel and ordered it to stop. The captain conducted evasive maneuvers, and the gunmen opened fire. After 30 minutes, two speed boats with four to five men in each boat approached and opened fire on the vessel. The master continued to carry out evasive maneuvers and succeeded in preventing the men from boarding (IMB, LM: RIA Novosti).

36. INDIAN OCEAN: Passenger ship (MELODY) fired upon 26 Apr 09 at 1942 UTC
while underway in position 01:17S – 055:40E, approximately 480NM east of Hobyo, Somalia. Six men in a small white speed boat attacked and fired upon the ship. An armed security onboard the cruise ship returned fire and sprayed them with water hoses, forcing the pirates to retreat. The pirates reportedly linked to the failed attack were later captured by Spanish naval forces (AP, BBC, IMB).

1. MALAYSIA: Chemical tanker boarded 3 May 09 at 0400 local time, Karamunting palm oil terminal, Sandakan port. Four robbers in a fishing boat approached the vessel at berth. While crewmembers were busy at the manifold, the robbers boarded the tanker using a hook attached to a rope. Several crewmembers saw unidentified persons on forecastle deck and approached them. The robbers escaped in their boat upon seeing the crew alertness. Nothing was reported stolen (IMB).
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2. MALAYSIA: Container ship reported attempted boarding 3 May 09 at 0001 local time, Sandakan anchorage. A fisherman offering fresh fish approached the starboard side of the vessel at anchor. Four robbers in a speed boat approached from the port side of the vessel and attempted to board. The alert crew spotted the robbers and raise the alarm. The robbers aborted the attempt due to crew alertness (IMB).

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