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Sunday, March 06, 2011

Somali Pirates: Unexploded Pirate RPG Round Stuck in Ship Defused As Vessel Nears India

Large Red Arrow Points to Port Sikka Viciinty
An unexploded rifle rocket propelled grenade (RPG) fired a merchant ship during an attack at sea was still stuck in the ship as it neared India. Indian authorities acted to defuse the weapon as reported in "[Indian] Coast Guard, police bomb squad avert major mishap at sea"
A major mishap was averted today following a joint operation of Indian Coast Guard and state police's bomb disposal squad when a rocket propelled grenade thrown inside a cargo vessel by pirates was defused.

The operation was carried out in the vessel MT Agea in the Arabian sea, about 15 nautical miles off the Okha coast in Jamnagar district, coast guard officials said. According to officials, MT Agea, registered in Greece, was on its way to Port Sikka in Jamnagar from Antwerp in Belgium, when it was attacked by pirates, about 400 nautical miles away from Porbander.

RPG laucher and grenade
"The vessel was fired upon with arms and a rocket propelled grenade. One of the grenades hit the accommodation structure and did not explode," they said, adding that the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) regional headquarters at Gandhinagar was intimated about the incident by the vessel.

A bomb disposal squad was rushed to the Okha coast where an ICG hovercraft was kept ready for launch, while at the same time the vessel MT Agea was intimated not to enter Gulf of Kutch and anchor about 15 nautical miles off Okha coast.

Indian Coast Guard Hovercraft
"After three hours of operation, the live rocket propelled grenade was disarmed by the police bomb disposal squad, averting a major mishap at sea. The vessel was then cleared for undertaking her passage to Sikka," the ICG officials said.
UPDATE: The original attack and RPG situation was reported here by the ICC CCS:
Site of attack
Attack Number: 2011/095
Date: Fri Mar 04 2011
Vessel Type: Crude Tanker
Location detail: Around 320nm SE of Ras al Hadd, Oman
Attack Type: Fired Upon
Incident Details: 04.03.2011: 09:22 UTC: Posn: 18:35N – 063:47E, around 320nm SE of Ras al Hadd, Oman (Off Somalia).
Armed pirates in a skiff chased and fired upon a tanker underway. All crew apart from bridge team and unarmed security team retreated into the citadel. An unexploded RPG round was noticed on the deck of the tanker. Effective anti piracy measures resulted in vessel evading the boarding. All crew safe.

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