Unrep MSC to amphib

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Somali Pirate "Navy" on the Move

Pirated vessels at sea 30 Dec 10 (except Golden)
 As noted in my earlier post, the Somali pirates have begun to use up to six pirated vessels as a sort of ad hoc "navy" to transport their strike force (speed boats) to major shipping lanes and to areas less impacted by weather. NATO is offering up some tracking info to warn mariners to be on the watch for these mother ships throughout the Indian Ocean. Now, as Reported by NATO Shipping Centre:
Alert update 29/12/10 1335 UTC

Motivator


Motivator is reported in the area of 15°21N 057°52E

York
Golden Wave
York (00°28N 059°44E) and Golden Wave (NO Position) are assessed to be heading out to the deep Somali Basin, maybe the shipping lanes east of 60°E.

Hannibal II
Hannibal II (11°49N 055°39E) heading towards the coast of Somalia.
Thor Nexus

Thor Nexus, 150NM south of Socotra,

EMS River
EMS River (15°21N 057°52E) coming from the Arabian Sea

Polar (03°50S 051°42E)

Polar
Shiuh
Shiuh Fu No.1 (19°01S 052°41E) from the Madagascar area, maybe heading back to the anchorage off Somalia.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Somali Pirates Take Another Ship Off Oman on 27 Dec 10

EMS River
EU MSC(HOA) reports: MV EMS RIVER pirated in the Indian Ocean:
In the early hours of 27 December, the MV EMS RIVER was pirated approximately 175 nautical miles North East of the port of Salalah, Oman.

The 5,200 tonne general cargo ship, which is Antigua/Barbuda flagged and German owned, was on her way to San Nicolas, Greece from Jebel Ali in the UAE at the time of the attack. She has a crew of 8 (1 Romanian, 7 Philipinos) and is carrying a cargo of Petroleum Coke. The pirated vessel MT MOTIVATOR was in the vicinity of EMS RIVER throughout the attack which further enforces the current pirate modus operandi of the use of motherships.

There are now 26 vessels and 609 hostages being held by pirates off the coast of Somalia.
A warning from NATO, which reports 4 or more captured vessels are being deployed by the pirates as "mother ships" - greatly extending the range and operation environment of the pirates:
Thor Nexus

Hannibal II

Motivator

York

Polar

Shiuh

Golden
Presently the pirated merchant vessels Hannibal II, York, Polar, Motivator and Golden Wave is not anchored off Somalia, it is assessed that all of them are used by pirates as motherships, and they are a threat to other merchant shipping in the area. Newly pirated vessels Thor Nexus, Ems River and Shiuh Fu No.1 and maybe one other vessel, is heading towards the Somali coast and may pose a threat to shipping.

  1. Hannibal II reports indicate is in the vicinity of Socotra
  2. Motivator is reported in the area of 15°21N 057°52E
  3. York and Golden Wave are assessed to be heading out to the deep Somali Basin.
  4. Polar, Thor Nexus, Ems River and Shiuh Fu No.1 maybe heading back to the anchorage off Somalia.
  5. Additionally one unknown Dhow is unlocated.
Gee, it's almost like the pirates are operating like a navy or something.

More from NATO:
December 28 2010

---ALERT UPDATE--- Indian ocean

Latitude: 17°57N Longitude: 057°43E

Alert number 577 / 2010.

Reference previous Alert number 573 / 2010.

At 1303 UTC a merchant vessel was reported under attack in position 17 57N 057 43E.

***This vessel has been hijacked***

and now is in pos 15°21N 057°52E crs 211° spd 11

--------------------------------

December 28 2010

WARNING Indian ocean

Latitude: 12°27N Longitude: 055°07E

Alert number 576 / 2010

Reference: previous alert number 575 / 2010.

At 0600 UTC 28 Dec a Pirate Action Group consisting of pirated vessel Hannbal II acting as mothership was reported in position 12°27N 055°07E Course 226°, speed 11 kts.
---------------------------------

December 27 2010

WARNING Indian Ocean

Latitude: 13°30N Longitude: 055°48E

Alert number 575 / 2010
Reference: previous alert number 574 / 2010.

At 2320 UTC 27 Dec a Pirate Action Group consisting of pirated vessel Hannbal II acting as mothership was reported in position 13°30N 055°48E Course 212°, speed 11 kts.
---------------------------------

December 27 2010

WARNING Indian Ocean

Latitude: 15°10N Longitude: 056°22E

Alert number 574 / 2010

Reference: previous alert number 570 / 2010.

At 1337 UTC 27 Dec a Pirate Action Group consisting of pirated vessel Hannbal II acting as mothership was reported in position 15 10N 056 22E Course 165, speed 14 kts.

----------------------------------------
December 27 2010
WARNING Indian Ocean
Latitude: 17°57N Longitude: 057°43E

Alert number 573 / 2010.

Reference previous Alert number 572 / 2010.

At 1303 UTC 27 DATE / a merchant vessel is currently under attack by Pirate Action Group operating from hijacked vsl Motivator acting as mothership position 17 57.7N 057 43.8E Course 175, spd 5 kts.


----------------------------------------

December 27 2010
WARNING Indian Ocean

Latitude: 18°10N Longitude: 057°50E

Alert number 572 / 2010.

At 0623 UTC 27 DEC a merchant vessel is currently under attack by Pirate Action Group incl hijacked vessel acting as pirate motherhip and a skiff in position 18°10N 057°50E.

----------------------------------------

December 27 2010

WARNING Somali basin

Latitude: 07°20 N Longitude: 049°50 E

Alert number 571 / 2010.

At 1330 UTC 26 Dec a Pirate Action Group consisting of pirated vessel acting as mothership was reported in position 07°20 N 049°50 E Course 050°, speed 5 kts.
----------------------------------------
December 26 2010
WARNING Indian Ocean
Latitude: 11 16N Longitude: 054 45E
Alert Number 570 / 2010
At 0325 UTC 26 Dec a Pirate Action Group consisting of pirated vessel acting as a mothership was reported in position 11 16N 054 45E Course 050, speed 10kts.
------------------------------------------
December 26 2010
WARNING Indian Ocean
Latitude: 14 28S Longitude: 055 15E
Alert number 569 / 2010
At 0802 UTC 26 Dec / a Pirate Action Group consisting of a pirated vessel acting as a mothership was reported in position 14 28S 055 51E, crs 115 spd 13kts.
It's easy to know where the pirates have been, since they leave a trail of attacks and captured ships. I suppose detaching a few ships or aircraft to keep tabs on the mother ships to know exactly where the mother ships are at any given moment is just too hard or is being doing and is being kept very quiet for some reason.

Right now, however, it seems all the proactive measures are being taken by the pirates.

And that should be taken very seriously, indeed.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Somali Pirates Grab a Ship on 25 Dec

Photo by Vladimir Knyaz from Shipspotting.com and used iaw with the terms therein
Pirates grab Thai-flagged ship:
Suspected Somali pirates have hijacked a merchant ship with 27 crew off the sultanate of Oman, the head of a regional maritime group said on Saturday.

Andrew Mwangura of the Kenyan-based East African Seafarers Assistance Programme said the pirates had seized the Thai-flagged vessel early on Saturday.

"Reports reaching Mombasa ... indicate that early this morning pirates sized MV Thor Nexus some 350 nautical miles east of Salalah, Oman," Mwangura said in a statement.

"The ... bulk carrier and 27 all Thai crew members were taken by pirates while under way to Pakistan from the United Arab Emirates."

Update: NATO report of captured ship: 
December 25 2010
WARNING Somali Basin / Indian Ocean
Latitude: 16°01N Longitude: 060°12E

Alert number 565 / 2010.
***This vessel has been hijacked***

At 0140 UTC /25 DEC 10 / a merchant vessel was reported Hijacked by pirates in position 16°01 N 060°12 E.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Shepherds Keeping Watch

From Luke Chapter 2 verses 8 to 14
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Of course, this was only the beginning.

For those shepherds who keep watch tonight . . . thanks.

Happy Christmas!

Peace.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Somali Pirates: 22 Dec 2010

Pirate Action 22 Dec 2010 (click to enlarge)
Report from NATO Shipping Centre :
December 22 2010

---ALERT UPDATE--- SOMALI BASIN
Latitude: 17°00N Longitude: 062°05E
Alert number 549 / 2010.
Reference previous Alert number 547 / 2010.
At 0428 UTC 22DEC a merchant vessel was reported under attack by pirates/1 grey skiff in position 17 00N 062 05E.
***This vessel managed to evade hijack***

The Pirate action group is still in the area.
------------------------------
December 22 2010
---ALERT UPDATE--- SOMALI BASIN
Latitude: 12°10N Longitude: 060°31E
Alert number 548 / 2010.
Reference previous Alert number 546 / 2010.
At 0312 UTC 22DEC10 a merchant vessel was reported under attack by pirates/1 skiff in position 12 10N 060 31E.

***This vessel managed to evade hijack***

The Pirate action group is still in the area.
-------------------------------
December 22 2010
WARNING SOMALI BASIN
Latitude: 17°00N Longitude: 062°05E
Alert number 547 / 2010.
At 0428 UTC / 22DEC / a merchant vessel is currently under attack by pirates/1 grey skiff in position 17°00N 062°05E.
------------------------------
I
December 22 2010
IZUMI
WARNING SOMALI BASIN
Latitude: 12°10N Longitude: 060°31E
Alert number 546 / 2010.
At 0312 UTC / 22DEC / a merchant vessel is currently under attack by pirates/1 skiff in position 12°10N 060°31E.
-----------------------------
December 22 2010
WARNING Somali Basin
Latitude: 12°22N Longitude: 062°05E
Alert Details: Alert number 545 / 2010.
Polar
At 2341 UTC / 21DEC / MV IZUMI was reported in position 12°22'N 62°05'E heading 127, speed 8kts. Vessel is conducting mother ship operations.
----------------------------
As noted, the captive MV IZUMI is out and about and a warning that the captive MV POLAR is also on the move, believed to be headed to area near the Seychelles.

You might note on the "wind charts" below and in the right column that the winds in the Indian Ocean are not as heavy near the Seychelles and in the area where the above attacks occurred.


Eastern Arabian Sea

North of Seychelles

East of Somalia

Wind Indicators


Wind info from WeatherOnLine.co.uk.

Monday, December 20, 2010

U.S. Coast Guard - Top Videos for 2010

Coast Guard Press Release:
DATE: December 20, 2010 1:49:33 PM EST
Coast Guard releases top videos of 2010, asks public to vote for favorites
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Coast Guard released its top 11 video compilation for 2010, Monday, highlighting the year's most compelling cases from the work done every day by America's Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard selected 11 videos to recognize the service's 11 statutory missions 
and is inviting the public to vote for their favorite video as part of the service's 2010 Video of the Year contest. In 2010 the Coast Guard:
  • Saved more than 4,300 lives and conducted more than 22,000 search and rescue cases.
  • Prevented more than 200,000 pounds of cocaine from reaching the United States.
  • Continued to provide unique military capability alongside the other armed services with six Coast Guard cutters and 400 personnel deployed to train Iraqi naval forces and protect Iraqi maritime oil infrastructure critical to that country's recovery.
  • Boarded more than 2,100 High Interest Vessels bound for U.S. ports to ensure security and conducted nearly 9,000 inspections on foreign vessels entering U.S. ports to ensure safety and protect the environment.
  • Interdicted nearly 4,700 undocumented migrants attempting to illegally enter the United States from the sea.
  • Conducted more than 11,000 inspections on U.S.-flagged vessels ensuring they operated safely and in compliance with environmental laws.
  • Conducted more than 5,000 fisheries conservation boardings.
"The Coast Guard's Top 11 Videos of 2010 highlight the dynamic and challenging environment our men and women operate in daily, as well as during major response operations such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the Operation Unified Response to assist the people of Haiti after the earthquake," said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp.  "We conduct many of our missions out of the public eye, so I'm excited to take time at the end of the year to showcase the work of America's Coast Guard men and women.  I encourage people to vote for the video they like best and I'm eager to learn the results of this year's contest."
The top 11 video compilation is available for viewing and download from the Coast Guard visual information site at http://cgvi.uscg.mil/media/main.php?g2_itemId=1081158 and on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQ2rgclfiaQ
The top 11 video compilation includes:
  • The rescue of an 11-year-old boy and his father who were caught in the surf near Pacific City, Ore., March 26 by a Coast Guard Air Station North Bend HH-65C Dolphin helicopter crew.
  • The hoist of 17-year-old boy from a 200-foot cliff by an aircrew from Air Station Astoria, Ore., at Lewis and Clark State Park in Washington State, July 25.
  • The rescue of a man clinging to a piling after wading too far from shore near Rollover Pass, Texas, by an aircrew from Air Station Houston, Texas, July 12.
  • The rescue of an injured 64-year-old woman and her 49-year-old friend from their disabled 65-foot sailboat 200 miles west of St. Petersburg, Fla., Sept. 1, by an aircrew from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., that included a rescue swimmer on his first rescue.
  • The rescue of two men from an overturned 26-foot boat approximately 30 miles west of Egmont Key, Fla., by an aircrew from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., Aug. 28.
  • The relief efforts of members from Port Security Unit 307, St. Petersburg, Fla., and other Coast Guardsmen as they provide medical attention and materials to a Haitian orphanage and work to restore infrastructure, Feb. 3,  in the wake of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that devastated the island nation. 
  • The mid-air, helicopter delivery of crewmembers from Aids to Navigation Team San Diego by an Air Station San Diego aircrew to repair the broken Zuniga Jetty light at the entrance of San Diego Bay, Feb. 4, during bad weather.
  • A wild ride by crewmembers aboard a 47-foot motor lifeboat from Station Bodega Bay, Calif.,  during training in heavy surf, July 13.
  • Ice breaking operations by the Cutter Morro Bay on the Hudson River in New York, Jan. 13, to ensure the delivery of critical heating oil.
  • Oil skimming operations off the coasts of Florida and Alabama during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill by the Cutters Juniper, Oak and Cypress, June 12.
  • The construction of the only permanent aid to navigation tower north of the Arctic Circle by crewmembers of Aids to Navigation Team Kodiak four miles south of Point Hope, Alaska, Aug. 2.
Starting Tuesday, Dec. 21, and running through Dec. 31, the Coast Guard's official blog, the Coast Guard Compass, will publish one of the 11 videos each day featuring commentary from a service member involved in the mission. The public is encouraged to vote for their favorites by leaving a positive comment for the video on the blog at http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/, or by choosing to “like” their favorites on YouTube in the Coast Guard's 2010 Video of the Year playlist at http://www.youtube.com/user/USCGImagery?feature=mhum#p/c/1127964652239861or on the Coast Guard’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/uscoastguard. 
For complete contest details please visit the Coast Guard Compass at  http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/index.php/2010/12/your-vote-counts-coast-guard-video-of-the-year/.


Coasties. Don't go boating without them.

Somali Pirates Capture a Ship in the Indian Ocean

Reported by MSC (HOA)as MV ORNA pirated in the Indian Ocean:
At midday on 20 December, the MV ORNA was pirated in the Indian Ocean, approximately 400 nautical miles North East of the Seychelles.

The attack was launched from 2 attack skiffs, with pirates firing small arms and rocket propelled grenades at the merchant vessel. The vessel was stopped and boarded by at least 4 pirates. The crew is co-operating and no damage is reported.

The MV ORNA is a Panama flagged, UAE owned bulk cargo vessel with a dead weight of 27 915 tonnes. The number of crew onboard is unknown; MV ORNA was not registered with MSCHOA or UKMTO.

Somali Pirates: Armed Guards on Merchants

Armed Guards Used to Combat Piracy on Ships, Lloyd’s List Says:
Having armed guards on board means ships don’t need to speed up and don’t need to deviate away from pirate-infested waters, lowering fuel costs, the newspaper reported. So far, no vessel with armed guards on board has been successfully seized, it reported.

Based on a $6 million ransom, the total cost of having a large vessel hijacked is as much as $25 million once lost earnings are taken into account, the newspaper said.
Go figure.

Of course, that's before the lawsuits begin.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Don't Care About "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" But The Headline Is Wrong

Misleading headline: Senate votes to overturn military gay ban . The issue was not one of the military's making, but rather a matter of legislation - in other words, the legislative branch has decided to change a policy it enacted.

The military will obey the law - as it has been all along.

Now, let's see that big race to the enlistment office.

Meanwhile, to all you liberal "Ivy League" types - shut up. Really, I can assure you that almost no one in the service thinks this is as big a deal as you do.

Now, about those ROTC units that are not on your campuses . . . who will be the first to step forward and invite ROTC back?

That's what I thought . . .


UPDATE: A useful discussion at the Naval Insitute's "From DADT to DKDC". Read the comments, too.

UPDATE2: Ok, some "Ivies" are moving on ROTC.

China Aiding Taliban?

Interesting piece from AVIATION WEEK: Weapons Migrate From China to Afghanistan. Not so much the weapons, but the reports of Chinese trainers aiding the Taliban in Afghanistan:
Chinese advisers are believed to be working with Afghan Taliban groups who are now in combat with NATO forces, prompting concerns that China might become the conduit for shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, improved communications and additional small arms to the fundamentalist Muslim fighters.

A British military official contends that Chinese specialists have been seen training Taliban fighters in the use of infrared-guided surface-to-air missiles. This is supported by a May 13, 2008, classified U.S. State Department document released by WikiLeaks telling U.S. officials to confront Chinese officials about missile proliferation.


Photo and weapons info from Sinodefence.com, where it is noted, "The missile has also been produced by Pakistan under license as Anza MK-2." .

Hat tip: Tigerhawk.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Somali Pirates: Activity Since 10 Dec 10

Somali Pirate Activity Areas 10 Dec-14 Dec 2010. Distance Point A to Point B is approx 2400 miles. Attack farthest east of Somali took place about 1000 miles off Somalia.


From the U.S. Navy Office of Naval Inteligence:
Anti Shipping Activity

Type of Search:   All Anti-Shipping Activity Messages
Pirate Attacks North Indian Ocean 10-14 Dec 2010
Pirate Attacks Eastern Mid-Indian Ocean 10-14 Dec 2010
Date Search:   None
Sort Order:   Descending Date of Occurrence
space
Date of Occurrence: 12/13/2019 Reference Number: 2010-527
Geographical Subregion: 62 Geographical Location: 13° 09' 00" N
48° 29' 00" E
Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: MERCHANT VESSEL
Description: GULF OF ADEN: Merchant vessel attacked in 13-09N 048-29E at 131000Z Dec. Vessels are advised to keep 100 miles clear of this position and to exercise extreme caution.

Date of Occurrence: 12/13/2010 Reference Number: 2010-526
Geographical Subregion: 61 Geographical Location: 13° 14' 48" S
54° 43' 00" E
Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: MERCHANT VESSELS
Description: WESTERN INDIAN OCEAN: Pirate activity in 13-14.8S 054-43.0E on 13 Dec. The area involved should be avoided if possible. This area will remain high risk for at least 24-48 hours. Caution advised.

Date of Occurrence: 12/11/2010 Reference Number: 2010-525
Geographical Subregion: 61 Geographical Location: 7° 33' 00" S
42° 05' 00" E
Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: MERCHANT VESSELS
Description: WESTERN INDIAN OCEAN: Piracy action group reported in 07-33S 042-05E at 111030Z Dec. Vessels passing within 100 miles are advised to exercise extreme caution.

Date of Occurrence: 12/11/2010 Reference Number: 2010-524
Geographical Subregion: 63 Geographical Location: 6° 11' 00" N
67° 25' 00" E
Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: MERCHANT VESSEL
Description: SOUTHERN ARABIAN SEA: Merchant vessel attacked in 06-11N 067-25E at 110542Z Dec. Vessels passing within 100 miles are advised to exercise extreme caution.

Date of Occurrence: 12/10/2010 Reference Number: 2010-523
Geographical Subregion: 62 Geographical Location: 20° 51' 00" N
62° 46' 00" E
Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: MERCHANT VESSEL
Description: ARABIAN SEA: Merchant vessel attacked in 20-51N 062-46E at 101504Z Dec. Vessels are advised to keep 100 miles clear of this position and to exercise extreme caution.

Date of Occurrence: 12/10/2010 Reference Number: 2010-522
Geographical Subregion: 61 Geographical Location: 9° 57' 00" S
41° 46' 00" E
Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: MERCHANT VESSEL
Description: WESTERN INDIAN OCEAN: Merchant vessel attacked in 09-57S 041-46E at 101212Z Dec. Vessels are advised to keep 100 miles clear of this position and to exercise extreme caution.

Date of Occurrence: 12/10/2010 Reference Number: 2010-528
Geographical Subregion: 61 Geographical Location: 9° 56' 00" S
41° 48' 00" E
Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: MERCHANT VESSEL
Description: INDIAN OCEAN: A merchant vessel noted being attacked by two skiffs at 1233Z on 10 Dec in position 09-56S 041-48E, approximately 123 miles northeast of Comoros. This area will remain high risk for the next 24-48 hours.

Date of Occurrence: 12/10/2010 Reference Number: 2010-529
Geographical Subregion: 62 Geographical Location: 21° 05' 00" N
62° 44' 00" E
Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: MERCHANT VESSEL
Description: ARABIAN SEA: A merchant vessel noted being attacked by two skifffs at 1550Z on 10 Dec in position 21-05N 062-44E approximately 200 miles southeast of Sur, Oman. This area will remain high risk for the next 24-48 hours.
From the NATO Shipping Center:
December 15 2010
WARNING Indian Ocean
Latitude: 12°07N Longitude: 060°26E
Alert Details: Alert number 540 / 2010.
At 0215 UTC a merchant vessel was reported under attack by 2 skiffs in position 1207N 06026E.
4 POB in skiffs. RPG and machine guns sighted.
***This vessel managed to evade hijack***
The Pirate action group is still in the area.
--------------------------
December 14 2010
WARNING INDIAN OCEAN
Latitude: 18°27N Longitude: 061°50E
Alert number 539 / 2010.
At 0756 UTC 14 DEC 10 a merchant vessel was reported under attack by 2 skiffs in position 18 27N 061 50E.
Mothership was reported nearby. The vessel was fired upon by RPGs.
***This vessel managed to evade hijack***
The Pirate action group is still in the area.
------------------------
December 14 2010
WARNING Somali Basin
Latitude: 05°28 S Longitude: 039°58 E
Alert number 538/ 2010.
At 2200 UTC / 13 DEC 10 / a merchant vessel was reported under attack by 2 x skiffs in position 05 28 S 039 58 E.
2 x speedboats were used. Shots were fired upon the vessel.
***This vessel managed to evade hijack***
The Pirate action group is still in the area.
-------------------------
December 13 2010
WARNING Gulf Of Aden
Latitude: 13°09N Longitude: 048°29E
Alert number 537 / 2010.
At 1000 UTC a merchant vessel was reported under attack by 1 armed skiff in position 1309 N 04829 E.
***This vessel managed to evade hijack***
The Pirate action group is still in the area.
------------------------
December 11 2010
---ALERT UPDATE--- Indian Ocean
Latitude: 06°11N Longitude: 067°25E
Alert number 536/ 2010.
Reference previous Alert number 534/ 2010.
At 0542 UTC / 11 DEC 10 /a merchant vessel was reported under attack by pirates in position 06 11 N 067 25 E.
***This vessel has been hijacked***
-----------------------
December 11 2010
WARNING Somali Basin
Latitude: 07°33S Longitude: 042°05E
Alert number 535/ 2010.
At 1030UTC / 11 DEC 10 / a Pirate Action Group consisting of pirated FV was reported in position 07 33 S 042 05 E.
-----------------------
December 11 2010
WARNING Indian Ocean
Latitude: 06°11N Longitude: 067°25E
Alert number 534/ 2010.
At 0542UTC / 11 DEC 10 / a merchant vessel is currently under attack by pirates in position 06°11 N 067°25 E.
1 skiff with 4POB, small arms and RPG. Mother ship in vicinity of pos 3NM.
-----------------------
December 10 2010
---ALERT UPDATE--- Indian Ocean
Latitude: 21°09N Longitude: 062°45E
Alert number 533 / 2010.
Reference previous Alert number 532 / 2010.
At 101504 UTC a merchant vessel was reported under attack by pirates in position 2051N 06246E.
***This vessel managed to evade hijack***
The Pirate action group is still in the area.
-------------------------
December 10 2010
WARNING Indian Ocean
Latitude: 20°51N Longitude: 062°46E
Alert number 532/ 2010.
At 1504 UTC / 10 DEC 10 / a merchant vessel is currently under attack by pirates in position 20°51 N 062°46 E.
-------------------------
December 10 2010
---ALERT UPDATE--- Somali Basin
Latitude: 10°00S Longitude: 041°51E
Alert number 531 / 2010.
Reference previous Alert number 530 / 2010.
At 101212 UTC a merchant vessel was reported under attack by skiffs in position 0957S 04146E.
***This vessel has been hijacked***
-----------------------
December 10 2010
WARNING Somali Basin
Latitude: 09°57S Longitude: 041°46E
Alert number 530 / 2010.
At 1212 UTC / 10 DEC 10 / a merchant vessel is currently under attack by pirates in position 09°57S 041°46E
NATO "Alert" Areas as of 14 Dec 2010:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Interesting Reading About Piracy at Sea and Maybe Terrorism, too

Interested in trends of worldwide maritime piracy? Here are some things to help:


Pirates during an assault
(1) You can begin with The “Radicalization” of Maritime Piracy: Implications for Maritime Energy Security by Dr. Donna Nincic of the California Maritime Academy:
At the same time, we are seeing a new and potentially more troubling trend occur: the increasing “radicalization” of maritime piracy in that pirate groups—especially in Somalia, but not limited to that country—are starting to cooperate at certain levels with terrorist entities in the region. Up until very recently, pirate gangs and terrorist organizations were thought to have mutually exclusive agendas. The fact that they seem to have arrived at some level of accommodation and mutually beneficial cooperation may presage more dangerous waters for the future.
See also a Lloyd's List warning about reports of Al Shabaab interest in learning "navigation":
At present, al-Shabaab taxes piracy groups that use areas under its control for holding vessels and crews until the ransoms are paid. However, intelligence experts say that there are strong indications that al-Shabaab is seeking to learn the basics of navigation with a view to entering the piracy game as a way of raising cash. Indeed, earlier this month the group’s members fought a gun battle with a piracy gang, demanding the pirates’ weapons and three South African hostages.

The piracy gangs are resisting the approaches for navigational tuition, knowing that the Islamic gangs have a habit of entering an area and then seeking to take complete control. So while the arrival of what are in effect Islamic terrorist gangs into the Gulf of Aden and beyond has yet to be seen, there will be a new and more extreme piracy operation in the future.
Bab al Mandab Strait
There was a report from back in September that Al Shabaab was calling for a "sea jihad." And another report that al Qaeda had called on Al Shabaab to "block the Red Sea":
THE Yemen-based wing of Al-Qaeda, in a recording posted on the Internet on Monday, called on Somali insurgents to help gain control over a narrow strait at the mouth of the Red Sea to block US shipments to Israel.

The wing's deputy leader, Saeed al-Shehri, urged Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist insurgents to help return the Bab al Mandab strait, which separates Yemen from the Horn of Africa, 'to the lands of Islam'.

'At such a time the Bab (al Mandab) will be closed and that will tighten the noose on the Jews (Israel), because through it America supports them by the Red Sea,' Shehri said in the audio recording posted on a website often used by Islamist groups.

(2) From Bergen Risk Solutions, "Somali Piracy and the Monsoon Season" (pdf), warning that though we may be entering a monsoon season that might slow Indian Ocean piracy, the Gulf of Aden and other less impacted areas might not see much of a decline in Somali pirate operations.

(3) A piece from The African about why the South African Navy has not joined in the anti-piracy force off Somalia (reprinted here). The main answer is money, of course, followed by fleet size and a lack of motivation:
South African Navy: SAS Amatola (F145) on sea trials.
According to diplomatic sources, several European countries have indicated their willingness to at least partly finance South Africa's participation in the international effort to combat piracy. This would include the integration of marines into the naval task force and training in Djibouti or Mombasa.

"It is in line with South African foreign policy ideals of 'Africa for the Africans', and yet there is absolutely no African presence here," said one source.

(4) Another pdf - this time from a marine insurance carrier, Allianz, on "Piracy: An ancient risk with modern faces":
Allianz piracy study highlights how ship-owners can respond to increased risk.

Ship security measures from the Allianz study
As the threat of piracy off the Horn of Africa continues to grow, this report provides an overview of recent developments in piracy, focusing on how ship-owners can address the risk through both active risk management and suitably tailored 'war' insurance policies for ships in risk risk areas.

In addition, the study points out that crews entering dangerous waters must be prepared to handle an attack, and it calls for a more coordinated solution to the recent wave of piracy.

AGCS also identifies a number of practical responses that crews can take when passing through piracy zones, and the study also points out that whilst piracy may be on the rise off Somalia and other parts of Africa, it is declining in other areas, but still poses a real threat to shipping and trade.

(5) An article from the U.S. Naval Institute's Proceedings magazine on how an over emphasis on fighting Somali pirates might cause us to miss the larger maritime security issue of which the Somali pirate situation is but a "symptom" in Steven Carmel's The Big Myth of Somali Pirates.

(6) And finally, my own post on the spread of Somali piracy at Assessing the Containment of Somali Pirates .

That ought keep you busy for a few minutes.