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Monday, January 09, 2012

Somali Pirates: The First Week's Work

So, in addition to being somewhat thwarted by the re-capture of pirated mother ships by U.S. and Danish units and releasing ships after collecting ransom, Somali pirates have been taking to sea in areas somewhat sheltered from the heavy winds and waves. NATO's Shipping Center kindly provides us with a map and a summary of pirate activity since the beginning of the year at NSC | All Alerts:
NSC 2/12 06/01/2012 14:15 12.43 43.8 Suspicious Activity NSC 2/12 - Suspicious activity A vessel has reported seeing suspicious activity in the vicinity of the Bab al Mandeb. 2 skiffs with 6 persons on board were seen acting suspiciously.
***This vessels is Safe***
*** The Pirate Attack Group is still in the region***
This is in the same area as Alert 001, Alert 002, and NSC 1/12.

Masters are advised to proceed with extreme caution while transiting this area.
***
ALERT 003/2012 05/01/2012 04:45 22.45 60.98 Attacked ALERT 003/2012 --WARNING WARNING WARNING--- Alert number 003 / 2012.
At 0446 UTC 04 JAN 2012 a merchant vessel was attack by 1 skiff with 6 POB in position 22 27 N 060 59 E.
**This vessel managed to evade hijack***
*** Vessel is SAFE***
The Pirate action group is still in the area.
***
Alert 002/2012 04/01/2012 08:20 12.28 44.16 Attacked Alert 002/2012
A piracy alert has been raised by the Maritime Security Centre.
Date of Alert: 04 Jan 2012
Location: [002] GULF OF ADEN 12 17 N 044 10 E
Latitude: 12 17 N
Longitude: 044 10 E
Alert Details:
---WARNING WARNING WARNING---
Alert number 002 / 2012.
At 0822 UTC a merchant vessel was reported under attack by a skiff in position 12 17 N 044 10 E.
***This vessel managed to evade hijack***

The Pirate Attack group is still in the area.
***
ALERT 001/2012 04/01/2012 04:20 13.16 49.2 Attacked Alert 001/2012
A piracy alert has been raised by the Maritime Security Centre.
Date of Alert: 04 Jan 2012 Location: [001] Gulf of Aden 13 10 N 049 12 E
Latitude: 13 10 N Longitude: 049 12 E
Alert Details:
--WARNING WARNING WARNING---
Alert number 001 / 2012.
At 0200 UTC a merchant vessel was attacked by 1 skiff in position 13 10 N 049 12 E.

**This vessel managed to evade hijack***
*** Vessel is SAFE***
The Pirate Attack group is still in the area.
***
NSC 001/12 04/01/2012 03:45 12.12 44.18 Approached WARNING - SUSPICIOUS APPROACHES There have been reports of 4 skiffs in the Gulf of Aden/ Bab al Mandeb region. This Pirate Attack Group has attacked 1 vessel, and approached 3 vessels.
Approaches occured:
0345Z in vicinity of 1205N 04423E
0753Z in vicinity of 12 14N 044 11E
0817Z in vicinity of 12 17N 044 10E
***These vessels are Safe***
*** The Pirate Attack Group is still in the region***

Masters are advised to proceed with extreme caution while transiting this area.
Small boats ops are easier when the weather is good and the WeatherOnline.co.uk maps show areas where small boat operations may be more likely, if the pirate mother ships can make it to the areas (red circles are my guesses - feel free to make your own):

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