Chaff Launch

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Somali Pirates: 24 April Update

Pirate attacks in normal shipping trade routes continue in Indian Ocean.
Yellow Arrows Point to 24 April 2011 Attacks on Shipping by Somali Pirates
 24 April Somali piracy update from the NATO Shipping Centre:
April 24, 2011
Latitude 12 13N Longitude 060 24E
Alert Number 160 / 2011
---WARNING WARNING WARNING---
At 0615 UTC 24 April, a Pirate Action Group consisting of a mothership and 1 skiff was reported.
The Pirate Action Group is still in the area.
_____________________________________
April 24, 2011
Latitude 04 11S Longitude 047 45E
Alert Number 159 / 2011
---WARNING WARNING WARNING---
At 0300 UTC 24 April, a merchant vessel was reported under attack by pirates / 2 skiffs.
Weapons were used during the attack.
***The vessel evaded hijack.***
The Pirate Action Group is still in the area.
And a look into the near future (weatherwise) from the U.S. Navy, Office of Naval Intelligence Piracy Analysis and Warning Weekly (Horn of Africa) report (pdf):

The redder the color, the better the weather for pirate operations
Finally, a look into the near past in the Somali pirate operating areas (some of which may be new information to you) from the records of the U.S. Marine Safety Information site:
Date of Occurrence: 04/17/2011 Reference Number: 2011-205 Geographical Subregion: 62 Geographical Location: 14° 04' 00" N 42° 20' 00" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: MERCHANT VESSEL Description: SOUTHERN RED SEA: A merchant vessel reported suspicious approach at 0830Z on 17 Apr in position 14-04N 042-20E, approximately 84 miles from Eritrea, Eriterea. This area will remain a high risk for the next 24-48 hours.
***
Date of Occurrence: 04/12/2011 Reference Number: 2011-201 Geographical Subregion: 62 Geographical Location: 13° 40' 00" N 49° 56' 00" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: TANKER Description: GULF OF ADEN: Oil products tanker (SAINT RAM) was fired upon by one skiff 12 April at 1218 UTC while underway in position 13-40N 049-56E, approximately 70NM southeast of Al Mukalla, Yemen. The vessel was fired upon by one skiff containing six pirates with RPGs and guns. The armed security team onboard exchanged fire with the skiff, and the skiff then aborted the attack. (IMB, UKMTO, Commercial Sources)

Date of Occurrence: 04/12/2011 Reference Number: 2011-202 Geographical Subregion: 62 Geographical Location: 14° 22' 00" N 42° 36' 00" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: BULK CARRIER Description: SOUTHERN RED SEA: About five pirates in a skiff approached a bulk carrier underway. All crew went into citadel while bridge team increased speed, enforced anti piracy measures and contacted authorities. Later the skiff aborted the attempt and moved away.

Date of Occurrence: 04/11/2011 Reference Number: 2011-200 Geographical Subregion: 62 Geographical Location: 12° 31' 00" N43° 38' 00" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: PASSENGER SHIP Description: GULF OF ADEN: A passenger ship underway noticed a group of about 20 skiffs near the port bow at a distance of three miles. Five skiffs were seen to break out from this group and head towards the vessel. At a distance of around 600 to 700 meters the armed security team noticed around five to seven pirates armed with rpgs and guns were seen in each skiff and instructed all crew members to stay inside the ship. As the skiffs approached closer the security team fired warning shots and the skiffs moved away. At the same time three more skiffs approached the vessel from the stbd side at a distance of 800 meters. The security team noticed arms onboard these skiffs and fired warning shots when the skiffs closed to a distance of 600 to 300 meters. The pirates aborted the attempted attack and moved away. Master informed a warship in the vicinity and all ships in the area via VHF.

***
Date of Occurrence: 04/10/2011 Reference Number: 2011-198 Geographical Subregion: 62 Geographical Location: 12° 02' 00" N 45° 08' 00" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: CHEMICAL TANKER Description: GULF OF ADEN: While underway a chemical tanker noticed one white and one blue skiff heading towards the vessel. Four persons were seen in the white skiff and five persons in the blue skiff. Crew alerted and armed security guards made themselves on the bridge wings. The skiffs approached to around 500 meters and the security team fired warning shots resulting in the skiffs moving away. The skiffs continued to follow the vessel for around 15 minutes before finally moving away.

Date of Occurrence: 04/09/2011 Reference Number: 2011-196 Geographical Subregion: 62 Geographical Location: 13° 08' 00" N 56° 18' 00" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: MERCHANT VESSELS Description: GULF OF ADEN: Pirate activity observed at 1005Z on 09 April in position 13-08N 056-18E. At 1506Z, approximately 120 miles northeast of Socortra Island, Yemen. This area will remain high risk for at least the next 24-48 hours.

Date of Occurrence: 04/08/2011 Reference Number: 2011-195 Geographical Subregion: 62 Geographical Location: 18° 25' 00" N 57° 27' 00" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: MERCHANT VESSEL Description: GULF OF ADEN: A merchant vessel reported being hijacked at 0234Z on 08 Apr in position 18-25N 057-27E, approximately 90 miles southeast of Duqm, Oman. Vessels are advised to keep 100 miles clear of this position and to exercise extreme caution.

Date of Occurrence: 04/08/2011 Reference Number: 2011-197 Geographical Subregion: 62 Geographical Location: 18° 25' 00" N 57° 27' 00" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: CARGO SHIP Description: ARABIAN SEA: General cargo ship (SUSAN K) was hijacked 08 April at 0234 UTC while underway in position 18-25N 057-27E, approximately 274NM southwest of Sur, Oman. About ten pirates boarded the cargo ship with weapons. The ten crew members and Master went into the citadel, but pirates entered the citadel and took the crew members hostage.(IMB, UKMTO)

Date of Occurrence: 04/05/2011 Reference Number: 2011-190 Geographical Subregion: 62 Geographical Location: 16° 00' 36" N 59° 52' 06" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: TANKER Description: AROUND 375 MILES OFF SOCOTRA ISLAND: Two large white hulled skiffs were noticed approaching a tanker underway at a distance of 2.5 miles. Master raised alarm and all crew except for the duty crew mustered in the safe room. The security team onboard fired rocket flares as a warning. The skiffs ignored this and continued to approach the tanker at high speed and at a distance of 600 meters, the security team fired warning shots. One skiff stopped while the other continued its approach. The security team reported that this skiff fired upon the vessel as it approached. The security team returned fire resulting in the skiff aborting the attempted attack.

Date of Occurrence: 04/05/2011 Reference Number: 2011-194 Geographical Subregion: 62 Geographical Location: 15° 53' 00" N 59° 57' 00" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: MERCHANT VESSEL Description: ARABIAN SEA: Merchant vessel (PACIFIC OPAL) was fired upon 05 April at 0656Z while underway in position 15-53N 059-57E, approximately 381 miles northeast of Socotra Island, Yemen. The pirate attack group consisted of a mothership and two large, white-hulled skiffs. Each skiff had six to eight pirates aboard. Fire hoses were initiated and the armed security team onboard fired flares ad waring shots. One of the skiffs aborted the attack at that time. The security team reported five or six rounds of incoming fire within 500 meters of the vessel. After more warning shots were fired, the second skiff aborted the attack. Both skiffs were equipped with motors capable of reaching 30 knots. (Commercial sources, IMB)
***
Date of Occurrence: 04/03/2011 Reference Number: 2011-187 Geographical Subregion: 61 Geographical Location: 5° 35' 00" S 40° 20' 00" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: BULK CARRIER Description: INDIAN OCEAN: Bulk carrier (ELENI G) was fired upon by one skiff 03 April at 0205Z while underway in position 05-35S 040-20E, approximately 96 miles northeast of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Six pirates fired rpgs and small arms at the vessel. The master raised the alarm and engaged in evasive maneuvers. (Commercial source IMB)
***
Date of Occurrence: 04/02/2011 Reference Number: 2011-185 Geographical Subregion: 62 Geographical Location: 15° 21' 54" N 51° 59' 18" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: BULK CARRIER Description: AROUND 17 MILES OFF QISHN, YEMEN: A skiff with three pirates onboard came within ten meters of a bulk carrier underway. Onboard security team fired warning shots and the skiff moved away. Small arms were sighted in the skiff.

Date of Occurrence: 04/01/2011 Reference Number: 2011-188 Geographical Subregion: 63 Geographical Location: 19° 17' 00" N 65° 14' 00" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: BULK CARRIER Description: ARABIAN SEA: Bulk carrier (ARRILAH-I) was boarded 01 April at 0528Z while underway in position 19-17N 065-45E approximately 398 miles southeast of Sur, Oman. The vessel was attacked by two skiffs firing small arms fire (each skiff had three pirates). The crew locked themselves in the citadel. The vessel was freed by IAE special forces in coordination with the U.S. 5th fleet on 02 April. (Comercial sources IMB)

Date of Occurrence: 04/01/2011 Reference Number: 2011-189 Geographical Subregion: 62 Geographical Location: 14° 05' 00" N 51° 43' 00" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: CHEMICAL TANKER Description: GULF OF ADEN: A chemical tanker underway noticed a suspicious fishing vessel. After monitoring the vessel for some time it was observed that a skiff as being launched which then headed directly for the tanker. Alarm sounded and navies contacted. Armed security team fired rocket flares in the direction of the approaching skiff. The pirates continued to approach the vessel and fired rpg and guns towards the vessel. The security team onboard returned fire and the pirates aborted the attack and moved towards their mother vessel. No injuries to crew and tanker.
Old School U.S. Navy Approach to Protecting Merchant Ships
The highlighted words are my doing, to point out the effectiveness of armed security teams in thwarting attacks.

Ships that are unprepared, low in the water and without security are more likely to be be victims of pirates.

A citadel, as noted by all the authorities, does not guarantee safety for the crew.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:43 AM

    How about a open legal hunting season on pirates who leave more than 10 miles from shore with pirate gear and weapons, if caught shoot all and feed them to sharks, if every pirate that goes to sea never returns maybe this shit will end.

    ReplyDelete