Philippine Sea

Monday, November 16, 2009

ONI On Piracy

From U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Intelligence's (ONI's) Weekly Worldwide Threat to Shipping Report(to 11 November 09):
B. CENTRAL AMERICA-CARIBBEAN:
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1. NICARAGUA: Sailing vessel (BLU INTERLUDE) robbed 26 Oct 09 at 0700 local time while underway in position 15:04.7N – 082:55.1W, approximately 14NM off Cabo Gracias a Dios. While sailing along the Nicaraguan banks, the vessel was flagged down by a green panga with four men onboard wearing what appeared to be paramilitary clothing. As the vessel slowed down, the men pulled out shotguns and pistols and then boarded the vessel. At gun point, they tied up all three crewmembers and then stole cameras, money, and other personal belongings including a hand held GPS and VHF radios. They were onboard for approximately 45 minutes searching for valuables. The robbery was reported to the Coast Guard at San Andreas Island, Colombia (Operator, Noonsite.com).
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C. SOUTH AMERICA:
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1. VENEZUELA: Sailing vessel (JUPITER) reported suspicious approach 6 Nov 09 at 1700 local time while underway between positions 10:55N – 065:00W (Isla la Tortuga) and 11:00N – 064:30W (Isla de Margarita). A skiff painted in bright colors with three men onboard began to follow within 100-200 meters of the vessel’s wake. When they accelerated and approached to within 60 yards, the crew onboard the (JUPITER) went to the aft deck with a flare gun and other offensive measures and directly confronted them. The suspicious men dropped back several times and conferred before making several more close passes. After doing this several more
times, they eventually stopped following and dropped out of sight. The incident was reported to the US Customs and Border agents that came aboard upon clearing at Marina Puerto del Rey, Puerto Rico (Noonsite.com).
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2. SURINAME: Fishing vessel fired upon, robbed, crewmembers kidnapped 28 Oct 09 at 1900 local time while underway in the vicinity of Caroni. A boat pulled up alongside the vessel while five men onboard fired shotguns at the fishermen. They proceeded to raid valuables, nets, and money. They placed the crew in another fishing vessel that was also attacked. The robbers then proceeded to destroy parts of the vessel, including its engine. When they escaped, they took two fishermen. Several of the remaining were injured (Risk Intelligence/MaRisk).
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3. ECUADOR: Container ship robbed 26 Oct 09 at 2222 UTC while underway in position 02:30S – 080:04W, Guayaquil. Five men armed with guns and knives boarded the vessel underway. They broke open containers, stole goods, and escaped in their boat. The coast guard was informed. Two patrol boats arrived and detained the robbers’ skiff (IMB).
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G. WEST AFRICA:
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1. GUINEA: Bulk carrier robbed 25 Oct 09 at 1500 local time while anchored in position 09:25.4N – 013:43.3W, approximately 6NM south of Conakry. Five robbers armed with guns boarded the vessel and stole ship’s stores and crewmembers’ personal belongings. The robbers escaped 40 minutes later. Local authorities were informed (IMB).
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2. GUINEA: General cargo ship reported attempted boarding 21 Oct 09 at 1600 UTC while underway in position 09:13N – 014:12W, approximately 30NM southwest of Conakry. Eight men in a small black boat approached the vessel. The duty officer raised the alarm, conducted evasive maneuvers, and increased speed. As the boat approached at a distance of 150 meters, the crew noticed one man was holding a rope, two men were armed with guns, and the others were signaling the vessel to stop. The duty officer increased speed to maximum and continued with
evasive maneuvering. The small boat eventually stopped chasing the vessel and aborted the attempt. Port control was contacted, but no response was received (IMB).
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4. NIGERIA: Bulk carrier robbed 30 Oct 09 at 2125 UTC while anchored in position
06:08.16N – 003:27.68E, Lagos anchorage. Nine armed men in a speedboat boarded the vessel and opened fire. They took all the crewmembers hostage. They assaulted the crew and damaged the ship’s communication equipment. They stole ship’s cash and money and other personal belongings from the crew before escaping. Five crewmembers were injured. The Nigerian navy was informed (IMB).
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5. NIGERIA: Chemical tanker robbed 30 Oct 09 at 2015 local time while underway in position 06:10N – 003:33E, Lagos anchorage. Six men armed with guns and knives in a speedboat boarded the vessel as it was drifting. The master raised the alarm, activated SSAS, and contacted Lagos port control while the crew activated fire hoses. The armed men started firing at the bridge windows and accommodation doors, but were unable to gain entry into the accommodation. The robbers were able to enter into the bridge and took all the crewmembers hostage. They assaulted some of the crewmembers and damaged the communication equipment. They stole ship’s cash and money and other personal belongings from the crew. They then
locked the crewmembers in a cabin before escaping (IMB).
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H. INDIAN OCEAN-EAST AFRICA:
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1. GULF OF ADEN: General cargo ship fired upon 7 Nov 09 at 0600 UTC while underway in position 12:37.5N – 047:11.6E. Six men in a skiff armed with automatic weapons and RPGs opened fire on the vessel while underway. The master raised the alarm, contacted coalition forces, and conducted evasive maneuvers. The men attempted to board the vessel using a ladder but were unable to due to the vessel’s freeboard and effective counter-measure taken by the crew (IMB).
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2. GULF OF ADEN: General cargo ship reported suspicious approach 5 Nov 09 at 0648 UTC while underway in position 13:42.8N – 050:56.1E. A small speedboat was sighted at a distance of 4NM. When the boat passed the port beam, it immediately changed course and approached the vessel from astern. The duty officer raised the alarm, contacted coalition forces, and mustered the crew. The master increased speed and took evasive maneuvers. As the boat came closer, four men with guns were spotted trying to board the vessel. The men in the speedboat eventually aborted the pursuit due to effective counter-piracy measures (IMB).
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3. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk carrier (THEOFOROS I) fired upon 5 Nov 09 at 0333 UTC
while underway in position 13:10N – 049:11E. According to Greek authorities, the
crewmembers activated high-pressure fire hoses against the attackers until a Turkish warship arrived on scene to provide assistance (AFP, IMB).
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5. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk carrier fired upon 31 Oct 09 at 1530 UTC while underway in position 13:26N – 049:42E. Two skiffs chased and opened fire on the vessel. They attempted to board, but due to effective counter piracy measures, the two skiffs aborted the attempt and moved away (IMB).
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8. INDIAN OCEAN: Bulk carrier (FILITSA) reportedly hijacked 11 Nov 09 at 0200 UTC while underway in position 00:35S – 062:40E, approximately 500NM northeast of Port Victoria, Seychelles. According to the owners, pirates boarded the vessel and all communication with the crew has ceased. There are 22 crewmembers onboard of Greek and Filipino nationality. Further information is awaited (IMB, Reuters).
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9. INDIAN OCEAN: Container ship (FELICITAS RICKMERS) fired upon 10 Nov 09 at 0430 UTC while underway in position 06:33S – 048:14E, approximately 500NM southeast of Kismayo, Somalia. The vessel reported being under attack by two skiffs. Shots were fired, but no damage was reported. The vessel conducted evasive maneuvers and prevented being boarded (IMB, AFP).
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10. INDIAN OCEAN: Container ship (NELE MAERSK) fired upon 10 Nov 09 at 0200
UTC while underway in position 00:43.7S – 061:57.8E, approximately 455NM northeast of Port Victoria, Seychelles. Men in two skiffs armed with assault rifles and RPGs chased and opened fire on the vessel. The skiffs approached the vessel from the starboard side at approximately 25-30 knots and were spotted by extra bridge lookouts at a distance of 3NM. At that time the skiffs were not yet picked up on radar. The vessel increased speed, conducted evasive maneuvers, and
successfully deterred the attack after 30 minutes. Coalition forces were informed (LL, IMB).
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11. INDIAN OCEAN: Tanker (BW LION) fired upon 9 Nov 09 at 0830 UTC while
underway in position 01:09S – 061:35E, approximately 420NM northeast of Port Victoria, Seychelles. Several men in two skiffs armed with assault rifles and RPGs chased and opened fire on the vessel. The master increased speed, conducted evasive maneuvers, deployed self protection measures, and successfully deterred the attack after one hour. Coalition forces were informed. The vessel sustained minor damages (AP, IMB).
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12. INDIAN OCEAN: Bulk carrier (DELVINA) hijacked 5 Nov 09 at 0426 UTC while
underway in position 09:40.36S – 045:05.48E, approximately 690NM south of Mogadishu, Somalia. The owners reported the vessel came under attack and was boarded by pirates (AFP, IMB).
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13. INDIAN OCEAN: Chemical tanker (JO CEDAR) fired upon 2 Nov 09 at 1213 UTC
while underway in position 07:55S – 047:40E, approximately 530NM southeast of Mombassa, Kenya. One skiff with five armed men onboard chased the vessel and opened fire while two more skiffs stood by in the vicinity. The vessel increased speed and conducted evasive maneuvers until the skiff abandoned the attack. The ship sustained bullet holes, but no crewmembers were reported injured (IMB, MSCHOA).
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14. INDIAN OCEAN: Bulk carrier (HARRIETTE) fired upon 2 Nov 09 at 0810 UTC while underway in position 03:34.3S – 045:40.1E, approximately 270NM southeast of Kismayo, Somalia. Two skiffs with six armed men in each boat chased and fired upon the vessel. The men were unable to hook their ladder onto the vessel’s side. The master increased speed and carried out evasive maneuvers while activating fire hoses. After approximately 20 minutes the men abandoned the attempt. The vessel sustained bullet holes but no crewmembers were injured (IMB, AP).
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15. INDIAN OCEAN: Fishing vessel (AVEL VAD) fired upon 31 Oct 09 at 0831 UTC
while underway in position 01:29N – 051:38E, approximately 370NM east of Mogadishu, Somalia. Two blue skiffs, 5-6 meters long, opened fire on the vessel. They aborted the attack after warning shots were returned from a security team onboard the fishing vessel (IMB, AFP).
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16. INDIAN OCEAN: Fishing vessel (ARTZA) fired upon 31 Oct 09 at 0730 UTC while underway in position 02:00N – 050:10E, approximately 290NM east of Mogadishu, Somalia. Three skiffs opened fire on the vessel. A security team onboard the vessel returned fire in self defense and the skiffs broke off their attack (IMB, AFP).
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17. INDIAN OCEAN: Fishing vessel (THAI UNION 3) hijacked 29 Oct 09 at 0247 UTC while underway in position 01:55S – 055:53E, approximately 165NM north of Port Victoria, Seychelles. Armed pirates in two skiffs approached the vessel from both sides. The vessel took evasive maneuvers and sent a distress message which was received by the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre and relayed to coalition naval forces to render assistance. A warship was dispatched to the location, but the pirates were able to board and hijack the vessel (IMB, Bloomberg).
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18. INDIAN OCEAN: Fishing vessel (CAP ST. VINCENT) fired upon 27 Oct 09 at 1020 UTC while underway in position 01:25N – 050:41E, approximately 330NM east of Mogadishu, Somalia. The vessel reported being chased and fired upon by two skiffs with approximately six persons onboard. The visual presence and noise of warning shots fired by an armed security team onboard the vessel deterred the approach at 0.8 miles away. A German warship was dispatched to the scene and located the skiffs trying to flee the area. The men onboard the skiffs were later arrested (AFP, AP, IMB).
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19. INDIAN OCEAN: Container ship fired upon 25 Oct 09 at 0845 UTC while underway in position 06:07.7S – 045:10E, approximately 350NM southeast of Mombassa, Kenya. Six men armed with machine guns in a white plastic hull speedboat chased the vessel. The master raised the alarm, conducted counter-piracy preventive measures, and increased to maximum speed. At a distance of about three cables, the men started firing at the vessel. The men eventually aborted
the attack, and the vessel continued underway at maximum speed (IMB).
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20. INDIAN OCEAN: Sailing vessel (LYNN RIVAL) hijacked 23 Oct 09 while underway approximately 60NM west of Port Victoria, Seychelles. The vessel was bound for Tanzania when it dispatched an emergency distress signal on 23 Oct, and then lost contact (AP, AFP).
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21. INDIAN OCEAN: Bulk carrier (AL KHALIQ) hijacked 22 Oct 09 at 0555 UTC while underway in position 04:09S – 052:35E, approximately 180NM west of Port Victoria, Seychelles. Six pirates armed with automatic weapons and RPGs onboard two skiffs opened fire and hijacked the vessel. Twenty-six crewmembers are currently onboard (Reuters, IMB).
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22. INDIAN OCEAN: RoRo vessel (JOLLY ROSSO) fired upon 22 Oct 09 at 0415 UTC while underway in position 03:45.28S – 046:43.24E, approximately 320NM southeast of Kismayo, Somalia. Men armed with automatic weapons and RPGs in two skiffs opened fire on the vessel with intent to board. The vessel increased speed and conducted evasive maneuvers to escape the attack (Reuters, IMB).
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23. INDIAN OCEAN: Bulk carrier (DE XIN HAI) hijacked 19 Oct 09 at 0815 UTC while underway in position 01:53S – 060:05E, approximately 325NM northeast of Port Victoria, Seychelles. Pirates boarded and hijacked the vessel while underway. There are 25 crew members onboard. Further information is pending (AP, IMB).
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24. INDIAN OCEAN: Container ship (KOTA WAJAR) hijacked 15 Oct 09 at 0237 UTC while underway in position 01:33S – 054:52E, approximately 190NM north of Port Victoria, Seychelles. Owners of the vessel received a call stating that the vessel has been attacked and hijacked. No further information is available at this time (AFP, UKMTO).
From ONI's Piracy Analysis and Warning Weekly (PAWW) Report (12 Nov 09):
(U) ONI assesses that vessels attacked off Somalia are randomly selected and not specifically targeted for any reason other than how easily the vessel can be boarded. Pirates simply patrol an area, wait for a target of opportunity, and attempt to board. ONI defines a high risk vessel as one that travels at a speed of less than 15 knots with low hook points. All vessels, especially vessels that fit this profile, are advised to proceed with extreme caution when transiting the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Somalia. Pirates have shown a capability to operate in waters off the Omani coast (in the southern Gulf of Oman and Arabian Sea). There have also been incidents reported in the southern Red Sea of aggressive small boat activity. Caution must be taken when transiting these waters. Pirates have achieved significant success in recent months and have shown their capability to operate for sustained periods in the Gulf of Aden and at a considerable distance (>900NM) off the coast of Somalia. Not all attacks were successful, and considerable caution is always required since the areas around failed hijackings remain at high risk for at least 48 hours after the incident.
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And a forecast through the 18th:

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