Night ops

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Sea Piracy: The Value of Trained Armed Private Security Teams


Indian Ocean/Strait of Malacca Area Piracy as of 8 May 2104


Ripped from the pages of the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence's Worldwide Threat to Shipping (WTS) Report 29 March – 30 April 2014, these reports might give an indication of why piracy is down off Somalia:
1. (U) GULF OF ADEN: On 17 April, five armed persons in a skiff approached an underway bulk carrier near position 12:24 N –043:42 E, approximately 21 nm southeast of Perim Island, Yemen. The ship’s master raised alarm, mustered the crew, increased speed and charged fire hoses. The onboard security team fired flares, but the skiff continued its approach. At a distance of 0.15nm a ladder was sighted in the skiff and the security team showed their weapons, resulting in the skiff aborting the attempt and moving away. (IMB)

2. (U) GULF OF ADEN: On 14 April, seven persons armed with an RPG in a white-and blue skiff approached an oil tanker near position 12:25 N – 043:43 E, south of the Bab El Mandeb Strait in the Gulf of Aden. The ship’s master raised the alarm, sounded ship’s whistle, activated fire hoses, and fired two warning flares. When the armed embarked security team displayed their weapons, the skiff departed the area. The security team reported observing a ladder on the skiff during the incident. (IMB)

3. (U) YEMEN: On 13 April, four persons in a skiff approached an underway chemical tanker near position 13:58 N – 055:32 E, approximately 106 nm northeast of Socotra Island, Yemen. The master raised alarm, increased speed, and mustered the non-essential crew members in the citadel. As the skiff closed to four cables, the armed embarked security team fired a warning shot, which resulted in the skiff departing the area. The security team reported observing a ladder on the skiff during the incident. (IMB)

4. (U) GULF OF ADEN: On 5 April, five persons in a skiff approached an underway chemical tanker near position 12:35 N – 043:26 E, Bab El Mandeb Strait in the Gulf of Aden. The master raised the alarm, altered course, and directed non-essential crew members to muster in a safe room. When the skiff got to within a third of a nautical mile of the tanker, the armed embarked security team fired a warning shot, which resulted in the skiff departing the area. (IMB)

5. (U) OMAN: On 5 April, two skiffs and a dhow approached a merchant vessel to within 300 meters near position 2015 N – 05902 E, approximately 15 nm from Masirah Island, Oman. When an armed embarked security team fired warning shots, the skiffs turned away. (NATO Shipping Centre)

H. (U) PERSIAN GULF: No current incidents to report.
Obviously, the armed private security teams are valuable, especially in conjunction with the naval forces in the area and the continued use of convoys in the region.

Worth comparing are the following hijackings and cargo thefts (previously noted here:
6. (U) MALAYSIA: On 22 April, up to ten heavily armed pirates boarded and hijacked the product tanker, MT NANIWA MARU No 1, near position 02:59 N – 100:54 E, 3 nm west-northwest of One Fathom Bank, near Port Klang. The pirates pumped out 3 million liters of the
4.5 million liters of diesel carried by the tanker into two waiting vessels and then made off with three Indonesian crew members, including the captain and chief engineer. (IMB, gCaptain, www.theguardian.com)
***
12. (U) MALAYSIA: On 17 April, 16 armed pirates boarded and hijacked an underway product tanker near position 01:59 N – 104:25 E, 26 nm south-southwest of Pulau Aur. The pirates then transferred part of the fuel cargo into smaller unknown tankers. Crew and ship properties were stolen and ship communication equipment damaged. Master and crew managed to repair the damage and proceed to a safe port. (IMB)
The countries adjacent to the Strait of Malacca tend to -um- discourage armed private security teams. Since that water is also their territorial waters, that is their privilege.

Map at the top is but a part of the information provided by the ICC Commercial Crime Services' International Maritime Bureau, a very worthy organization.

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