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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Somali Pirates: Warnings and Activities

First, the warnings from the NATO Shipping Center:
UPDATE: 24 November Warning:
November 24 2010
WARNING Somali Basin,
Latitude: 14°16N Longitude: 056°32E
Alert number 507/ 2010.
At 1509 UTC / 24 NOV 10 / a Pirate Action Group consisting of 2 Dhows armed with small arms and RPG was reported in position 14 16 N 056 32E 194/6 kts E.
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November 24 2010
WARNING INDIAN OCEAN
Latitude: 13°33N Longitude: 059°16E
Alert number 506 / 2010.
At 0350UTC 24 November 2010 a Pirate Action Group consisting of a mother ship and a number of skiffs was reported in position 13 33N 059 16E. It is assessed that she is conducting mother ship operations.

Updated 24 November

Weather conditions continue to be favourable for pirate operations throughout the Somali Basin and the Gulf of Oman. The Gulf of Aden has not seen many piracy incidents last week, but is still assessed to be an active area.

MV Polar
Reports of a mother ship have also indicated possible upcoming activity in the shipping lanes off the southeast coast of Oman.

Both whaler type and dhow/ FV mother ships are expected to be underway towards the deep Somali Basin as far as 65-70E (reported from 5N to 18N)

The central Somali Basin has several reports of pirate activity around 5N 56E and towards the Seychelles area.

The pirate activity is still high in the approach from Seychelles south towards Mombasa and Dar es Salam.

MV Hannibal II
The whalers are 10-12 m open boats with internal engine – capable of 6-8 knots. Mother ships are now believed to include various cargo- and fishing dhows, as well as pirated vessels (Prantalay 11/14).

All mariners transiting in the described areas are warned that pirates are active herein. Vigilant watches, early detection of vessels manoeuvring to close, early reporting and the adoption of the Best Management Practices are the keys for remaining safe in the Indian Ocean within 15°S and 78°E.
Tai Yuan 227 / Malaysia 618

Update 24 Nov. 10

MV Polar and MV Hannibal II are both likely being used by pirates as mother ships, the two ships have been reported in the Northern Somali basin or Arabian Sea, it is assessed that they are heading for the shipping lanes between Gulf of Aden and south of India. It is possible that one or both will continue to the north/south bound shipping lanes east of 65°E.

Prantalay
Pirated FV Tai Yuan 227, has been renamed by pirates to “MALAYSIA 618”, she has been reported in pos 13°33N 059°16E at 3050UTC 24 Nov. It is assessed she is used by pirates as a mother ship.
In addition to the NATO warning, a friend in the shipping business provides the following map of a month's worth of activity (not including action of Kenya and or off southern Somalia):

From the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Intelligence, a list though the 18th of November of incidents in the Red Sea/IO:
I. (U) INDIAN OCEAN-EAST AFRICA:
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1. (U) INDIAN OCEAN: Cargo vessel (LE CONG) fired upon 18 Nov 10 at 1250 UTC while underway in position 12:25N ñ 066:33E, approximately 704NM east of Socotra Island, Yemen. Individuals in two skiffs chased and fired upon the vessel. (IMB)
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2. (U) INDIAN OCEAN: Fishing vessels fired upon 17 Nov 10 at 0516Z while underway in position 06:34S ñ 050:01E, approximately 639NM east of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. Pirates  operating out of two skiffs fired RPGs at the vessels. Armed security fired warning shots. No damage to ship and no casualties. (Mercury)
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3. (U) INDIAN OCEAN: POL Tanker fired upon (SAMURAI) on 16 Nov 10 at 0645 local time while underway in position 05:09N ñ 066:42E, approximately 412NM west of Male, Maldives. Individuals in one skiff conducted the attack. A supporting mother ship was nearby. (IMB)
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4. (U) KENYA: Bulk Cargo Carrier (AFRICAN EAGLE) fired upon on 16 Nov 10 at
0642 UTC while waiting for berthing instructions at position 04:35S ñ 039:57E, approximately 17NM east of Mombasa, Kenya. Individuals in one skiff conducted the attack. (IMB and Open Press)
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5. (U) GULF OF ADEN: Chemical Tanker (VALERIE) fired upon on 15 Nov 10 at 0805 UTC while underway in position 14:03N ñ 049:08E, approximately 27NM south of Al Mukalla, Yemen. A blue skiff with approximately six people on board fired on the tanker. Security personnel on the tanker fired warning shots and the suspected pirates broke off the attack. (IMB)
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6. (U) KENYA: Kenyan Naval Patrol Boat on 12 Nov 10 at 2300 local time illegal
boarded by Somali pirates near Kilifi, Kenya. Four pirates boarded the underway patrol boat. Kenyan navy officers shot dead three of the pirates, one pirate jumped into the water and likely died. (Open Press)
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7. (U) INDIAN OCEAN: Cargo vessel YUAN XIANG hijacked on 12 Nov 10 at 0701 UTC while underway in position 18:02N 066:03E, approximately 634NM east of Salalah, Oman.(IMB)
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8. (U) INDIAN OCEAN: POL tanker fired upon on 11 Nov 10 at 0540 UTC while underway in position 17:12N ñ 065:33E, approximately 660NM east of Salalah, Oman. One skiff with 6 people on board fired on the vessel. (Mercury)
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9. (U) INDIAN OCEAN: Chemical tanker HANNIBAL II hijacked on 11 Nov 10 at 0433 UTC while underway in position 11:26N ñ 066:05E, approximately 680NM southeast of Socotra Island, Yemen. (IMB)
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10. (U) INDIAN OCEAN: Cargo vessel BBC ORINOCO illegally boarded on 11 Nov 10 at 0512 local time while underway in position 17:06N ñ 064:57E, approximately 625NM east of Salalah, Oman. Armed pirates operating from two skiffs fired on and boarded a bulk carrier underway. All crew retreated into the steering gear room and engine control room where they controlled the ship until pirates abandoned the ship. (IMB)
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11. (U) INDIAN OCEAN: Container ship fired upon 9 Nov 10 at 0834 UTC while underway in
position 0603N ñ 065:00E, approximately 525NM northwest of Male, Maldives. Vessel  reported two white-hulled skiffs approached at 20kts with three people on board in each skiff.  Mother vessel was viewed but was not with skiffs. Master reported weapons were fired on merchant vessel and they observed pirate tripwires. (UKMTO)
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12. (U) INDIAN OCEAN: Chemical tanker (FLOYEN) fired upon 9 Nov 10 at 0500 local time while underway in position 01:01N ñ 052:58E, approximately 350NM north of the Seychelles. Two white skiffs with nine people in each chased a tanker for two hours and fired upon the tanker. (IMB)
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13. (U) INDIAN OCEAN: Tanker fired upon 8 Nov 10 at 1345 UTC while underway in position 06:43S ñ 051:15E, approximately 750NM southeast of Mombasa, Kenya. One white-hulled, seven meter skiff with six people on board approached tanker from astern and fired RPG, hitting accommodation. Most of crew was in safe room, and four were on the bridge increasing speed and conducting evasive maneuvers. Pirates abandoned attack after 45 minutes. (UKMTO)
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14. (U) INDIAN OCEAN: Spanish warship (ESPS INFANTA CRISTINA) fired upon 6 Nov 10 at 1725 UTC while underway in position 01:48S ñ 042:31E, approximately 80NM south of Kismaayo, Somalia. The warship was attacked with AK-47 from pirates aboard a previously hijacked general cargo ship (IZUMI) Vessel was escorting World Food Program shipment to Mombasa. Attack was likely defensive in nature because warship got too close. (Mercury Chat
(Operator))
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15. (U) TANZANIA: Tanker (TORM KANSAS) chased and fired upon 5 Nov 10 at 1457 UTC while underway in position 05:25S ñ 040:42E, approximately 50NM east of Pemba Island, Tanzania. Heavily armed pirates in a skiff chased and fired upon a product tanker underway. The tanker made evasive maneuvers, contacted the coalition forces, and escaped attempt. The skiff was deployed by pirates from a previously hijacked general cargo ship (IZUMI), which was being used as a mother ship. (IMB, UKTMO)
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16. (U) GULF OF ADEN: Fishing vessel hijacked 2 Nov 10 at 1237 UTC while underway in position 13:31N ñ 048:19E, approximately 85NM southwest of Al Mukallah, Yemen. A fishing vessel was reported hijacked by pirates. (IMB)
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17. (U) INDIAN OCEAN: Merchant ship reported suspicious approach 2 Nov 10 at 1430 local time while underway in position 07:18N ñ 064:10E, approximately 1000NM east of Garacad, Somalia. Merchant vessel observed a mother vessel lowering two skiffs which then approached a tanker at 20kts. Five to six armed persons in each skiff were sighted when the skiffs reached about 500 meters. Security team onboard fired hand flares and warning shots, resulting in the
skiffs backing off. (IMB)
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18. (U) INDIAN OCEAN: Bulk carrier fired on 2 Nov 10 at 0300 UTC while underway in position 03:58S ñ 043:49E, approximately 285NM east of Mombasa, Kenya. Seven pirates armed with RPG and automatic guns in two skiffs chased and fired upon a bulk carrier underway with intent to hijack. Ship raised alarm. Armed security team onboard took preventive measures and fired rocket flares resulting in the pirates aborting the attempted boarding. No damages to
the ship or injuries to crew. (IMB)
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19. (U) TANZANIA: Tanker illegally boarded 31 Oct 10 at 0632 UTC while underway in position 09:57S ñ 042:19E, approximately 300NM southeast of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Armed pirates boarded a chemical tanker. All crew retreated into the citadel where they could control the ship. Unable to take control of the vessel, the pirates left. At 1059 UTC, the master and the crew regained control of the ship. No damage to ship and no casualties. (IMB)
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20. (U) INDIAN OCEAN: Bulk carrier (GO TRADER) illegally boarded 30 Oct 10 at 0512 UTC while underway in position 15:06N ñ 055:58E, approximately 190NM southeast of Salalah, Oman. Armed pirates boarded a bulk carrier underway. All crew retreated into the citadel where they could control the ship, and pirates abandoned ship. (IMB, EU)
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21. (U) INDIAN OCEAN: Product tanker (POLAR) hijacked 30 Oct 10 at 0140 UTC while underway in position 12:12N ñ 064:53E, approximately 700NM east of Socotra Island. Armed pirates in two skiffs boarded and hijacked a product tanker. (IMB, TW)
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22. (U) KENYA: Tanker fired upon 29 Oct 10 at 1245 UTC while underway in position 04:22S 039:58E, approximately 28NM southeast of Mombasa. Pirates armed with RPG and AK-47 in two skiffs fired upon a tanker with intent to board. Security team onboard took preventive measures, resulting in the pirates aborting attack and regrouping with their mother vessel. (IMB)
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23. (U) INDIAN OCEAN: Container ship (MSC AYALA) fired upon 28 Oct 10 at 2057 UTC while drifting in position 04:10S ñ 039:56E, approximately 20NM east of Mombasa, Kenya. One skiff with approximately 10 men fired upon a container ship. Crew evaded attack and reported it to authorities, but there was no initial response. (IMB, Open Press)
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24. (U) GULF OF ADEN: Tanker (HELLESPONT PROTECTOR) fired upon 28 Oct 10 at 0539 UTC while underway in position 13:08N ñ 049:14E, approximately 95NM south of Al Mukallah, Yemen. Pirates in two skiffs chased a tanker in a convoy and opened fire on it. Warship and other military assets in the vicinity assisted tanker. (IMB)
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25. (U) INDIAN OCEAN: Tanker (STARLIGHT VENTURE) chased and fired upon 27 Oct 10 at 1930 UTC while underway in position 13:18N ñ 068:56E, approximately 350NM west of Mangalore, India. Two skiffs with an unknown number of people onboard approached tanker from starboard quarter The robbers fired at the vessel, which resulted in 50 bullet holes found on the accommodation doors and broken foremast light fixtures. The ship took evasive action and
increased speed to 16 knots. Pirates aborted attack. An unlit suspected mother vessel was detected on the radar at a distance of 14NM. (IMB, ReCAAP)
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26. (U) TANZANIA: Liquified Petroleum Gas Carrier (LPGC) (MAIDO) illegally boarded 26 Oct 10 at 1805 local time while underway in position 08:20.2S ñ 040:42.4E, approximately 175NM southeast of Dar es Salaam. Five pirates heavily armed with automatic weapons and RPG in a skiff chased and fired upon an LPGC underway. The crew contacted the authorities and went into the citadel. Pirates boarded the tanker but could not sail it. Before leaving the vessel, the pirates caused some damage. Later, the crew took command of the tanker and sailed toward a safe port. There were no injuries to the crew. (IMB, Open Press)
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27. (U) INDIAN OCEAN: General cargo ship (BELUGA FORTUNE) reported an illegal boarding 24 Oct 10 at 0524 UTC while underway in position 03:29N ñ 059:35E, approximately 850NM east of Mogadishu, Somalia. Pirates armed with automatic weapons and RPG attacked a general cargo ship and boarded it. The crew members entered into the citadel and locked it from inside. They contacted the authorities for assistance. When pirates could not sail the ship, they
damaged the ship and abandoned it. The next day, the master informed a British warship HMS MONTROSE that all crew were safe in the citadel, and MONTROSE verified that all pirates had left. (IMB, LL)
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28. (U) KENYA: Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) tanker (YORK) hijacked 23 Oct 10 at 1235 UTC while underway in position 04:14S ñ 041:19E, approximately 98NM east of Mombasa, Kenya. Armed pirates hijacked an LPG tanker underway. Vessel transited to anchorage outside Harardhere, Somalia. (IMB, Reuters)
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29. (U) GULF OF ADEN: General cargo ship (MERLIN ARROW) fired upon 23 Oct 10 at 0252 UTC while underway in position 13:09.1N ñ 049:12.6E, approximately 90 NM south of Al Mukallah, Yemen. Five pirates armed with AK-47s in a skiff chased and fired upon a general cargo ship underway. Master raised alarm and increased speed, and crew mustered in safe room. Onboard security personnel fired rocket flares at the skiff and the pirates aborted the attempted boarding. No injuries to crew or damages to ship. (IMB)
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30. (U) GULF OF ADEN: Container ship fired upon and chased 22 Oct 10 at 2300 UTC while underway in position 13:08N ñ 048:44E, approximately 115NM southwest of Al Mukallah, Yemen. Five pirates armed with guns in a high speed skiff chased and fired upon a container ship underway. Master took evasive maneuvers, contacted warship and crew activated fire hoses. After 10 minutes of chasing, the pirates aborted the attack. There were no injuries to the crew. (IMB)
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31. (U) KENYA: Product tanker (ENDEAVOR I) reported attempted boarding 21 Oct 10 at 1600 UTC while underway in position 04:20S ñ 040:25E, approximately 42NM east of Mombasa, Kenya. Four pirates in a skiff chased and came alongside a product tanker underway. Alert duty officer heard the sound of the boat engine and upon investigation noticed the pirates attempting to board the vessel. Alarm sounded and speed increased. The skiff aborted the attack
and attempted once again after 20 minutes. A fishing vessel suspected to be the mother ship was noticed around 6NM away. (IMB)
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32. (U) TANZANIA: Container ship fired upon 21 Oct 10 at 0825 local time while underway in position 09:45S ñ 039:56.9E, approximately 10NM east of Lindi. Eleven armed men in two skiffs chased and opened fire on a container ship underway. Two skiffs, one with five people onboard and another with six people onboard, approached the ship, which was transiting at 19kts. Pirates fired AK-47s and four RPG, three of which hit the ship. The master enforced all counter-piracy measures and contacted the Dar es Salaam port authorities for assistance. The
skiff aborted attempt after 31 minutes. There was damage to two cabins on board but no injuries to the crew. (IMB)
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33. (U) TANZANIA: Container ship fired upon 21 Oct 10 at 0825 local time while underway in position 09:45S ñ 039:56.9E, approximately 10NM east of Lindi. Two skiffs, one with five people onboard and another with six people onboard, approached the ship, which was transiting at 19kts. Pirates fired AK-47s and four RPG, three of which hit the ship. The incident lasted 31 minutes. There was damage to two cabins on board but no injuries to the crew. (IMB)
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34. (U) INDIAN OCEAN: Product tanker (DAPHNE) fired upon 19 Oct 10 at 1830 UTC while underway in position 02:02.0N ñ 050:13.7E, approximately 290NM east of Mogadishu, Somalia. Six pirates armed with guns in a skiff chased a product tanker underway. Master raised alarm, increased speed, and conducted evasive maneuvers. At a distance of 100 meters, the pirates began firing at the tanker. Master continued with the evasive maneuvers and crew started firing with pyrotechnics and hand-held rocket flares. The pirates aborted the attempted
attack and moved away. No injuries to crew or damage to tanker. (IMB)

Which leaves this picture of attacks in the area so far in 2010:


(click on images to enlarge them)

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