Philippine Sea

Showing posts with label Arabian Sea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arabian Sea. Show all posts

Friday, September 28, 2012

Somali Pirates: Dhow Attacked Off Oman

Reported as Fresh attack as pirate season off coast of Somalia begins:
The first incident of the pirate season came on Monday when an Omani dhow was attacked near the port of Salalah.

Ian Millen, director of intelligence, said that despite industry optimism that the threat had diminished in the region, attacks were still likely in the area.

He said: "Somali pirates are not out of business, even if times are hard when compared to the success of earlier years.

"The pirate business has suffered a few setbacks, but the threat remains a very real one.

"The capability is intact and the motivation of those engaged is unlikely to have been diminished to the point of defeat.

"The message is clear - complacency is the greatest threat and constant vigilance, the greatest weapon in the fight against Somali pirates."
Funny how just this week there were all these news reports declaring the piracy threat ended off Somalia (see i.e.,"Party seems over for Somali pirates").

However, to be perfectly honest, the coast of Oman is not just "off the coast of Somalia" and the spokesman addressing the issue is from a security company that might have a slight interest in keeping the threat of piracy in the news.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Somali Pirates: Dhow Nabbing for "Mother Ships"

Here's how the Somali pirates get "mother ships" as reported by the NATO Shipping Center:
At 1800UTC 11 August 2012, a dhow at position 17 00N 054 00E reported that it had been pirated. The pirates abandoned this dhow after using it to pirate another dhow and the crew was able to report the incident. This second dhow is reported to have a 6 persons, a yellow crane and a small white craft aboard.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sea Pirates: Week of 18 June to 25 June 2012

From Live Piracy Report:
20.06.2012: 1200 UTC: Posn: 20:29N – 059:03E, Around 13nm East of Masirah, Oman, (Off Somalia). Pirates hijacked a dhow and took her seven crew members as hostage. Authorities informed.

12.06.2012: 0520 UTC: Posn: 12:49.6N – 43:15.9E, Off Mauyyun Island, Red Sea.
Six skiffs with 3 to 8 persons in each approached a LNG Tanker underway at speeds between 14 to 20 knots. Weapons were sighted in three skiffs. The skiffs approached and started tailing the vessels stern at a distance of around 200/300meters. The onboard security team were deployed and they showed their weapons to the approaching skiffs resulting in the skiffs backing off. Over the next 2.5hrs the skiffs approached the vessel five times from port and stbd sides before moving away.


20.06.2012: 0505 UTC: Posn: 20:50.8N-059:30.2E (Around 35nm NE of Masirah Island, Oman), Off Somalia. Pirates in a dhow armed with guns fired upon a LNG tanker underway. Pirates were also armed with RPG. The dhow closed in to 50meters from the ship and fired shots from their guns, of which three hit the vessel. Master enforced anti-piracy measures and managed to evade boarding.

18.06.2012: 1105 UTC: Posn: 12:19N - 043:57E, Gulf of Aden. Six skiffs with 4-6 pirates in each skiff approached a bulk carrier underway at 25 knots from the stbd bow. Master raised alarm, increased speed, altered course and sent distress message. The skiffs attempted to close onto the vessel from the stbd beam and stbd quarter and one skiff tried to approach from the port bow. The onboard armed security team fired eight warning flares but the pirates continued their attempts. Weapons and ladders were identified in the skiff. After nearly 40minutes the security team fired six warning shots and the pirates aborted and moved away. A naval ship came for assistance.
Map from NATO Shipping Center showing location of hijacked dhow, other recent attacks along shipping routes. Emphasis added to reports to reflect reported multi-skiff attacks.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Somali Pirates: Tanker Hijacked

Reported as Tanker Operator:Piracy returns - Suezmax hijacked:
Pirates boarded Dynacom’s Liberian flag Suezmax ‘Smyrni’ on Thursday some 430 miles northeast of Yemen’s SocotraIsland, Jacqueline Sherriff, a EUNAVFOR spokeswoman confirmed by phone to Bloomberg. “They are on board the vessel with guns,” Ody Valatsas, Dynacom Tankers Management chartering manager, said by email, declining to comment
NATO Shipping Center Map
further. The vessel was laden with 135,000 tonnes of crude oil reportedly loaded at a Turkish loading terminal. The seized tanker is the largest vessel to be hijacked since February 2011, according to Sherriff and the IMB.
NATO Shipping Center report:
Alert 040/12 - Pirated10 /05/2012 09:30 15.97 61.05 Pirated Pirated At 0930 UTC on 10 MAY 2012 a merchant vessel was reported under attack by 2 skiffs in position 15 58 N 061 03 E. ***Vessel is now confirmed as PIRATED***
© Igor Torgachkin

Monday, April 23, 2012

Somali Pirates: Fishing Vessel Hijacked Off Yemen

NATO Shipping Center reports at NSC | All Alerts:
21/04/2012 22:35:34 Location: [035] GOA - ARABIAN SEA 17 nm south of RAS FARTAK 15 20 N 052 12E Latitude: 15 20 N Longitude: 052 12 E Alert Details: At 1700 UTC / 21 APR 12 / a fishing vessel was hijacked by pirates in position 15 20 N 052 12E 17 nm south of Ras Fartak.
I guess the pirates needed a new mother ship.

Tough on the fishermen, though.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Somali Pirates Go "Mother Ship" Hunting, Grab Yemeni Fishing Boat

Reported as "Yemeni fishing vessel seized by Somali pirates in Arab Sea"
Somali pirates hijacked a Yemeni fishing vessel in the pirate-infested waters of the Arab Sea, Yemen's Interior Ministry said Monday.

"The vessel owned by Yemeni fisherman Ahmed Nasser ... has reported a crew of nine Yemeni fishermen on it," the ministry said in a statement on its website. It provided no further information on the condition of the crew.
Well, it being Yemeni and all, you know that it wasn't taken for the big ransom it would bring.

The pirates use such vessels to extend their attack range. UPDATE: In the "sorta related" news category, there is an odd report that a pirate haven was attacked by "aircraft" of unknown origin, as seen at SOMALIA: War planes strike Somalia’s Bari region, 2 fisher men wounded:
At least two Somali fishermen were wounded in the old coastal district of Gumbah, which is 200km east of Bosasso, the capital of Bari region in the semi-autonomous state of Puntland, RBC Radio reports. The strike which occurred on midnight of Monday targeted boats on the coast of the district wounding two people, Gure Ali Daad who is the permanent secretary of the district commissioner told RBC Radio by phone. “The air strike begun late on the night about 1.00 p.m (local time), two planes targeted fisher men returning from the coast. Two fishermen were injured.” Gure Ali Daad said. “We heard at least two bombardments, we could not identify where the planes from, because they had no lights.” He added. Mr. Daad denied that his district hosted the pirates operating in Puntland coastal districts where they usually hold ships and receive ransom money.
Interesting. Odd, but interesting. More in this AFP report:
Last month the European Union authorised its navies to strike Somali pirate equipment on land, with a mandate for warships or helicopters to fire at fuel barrels, boats, trucks or other equipment stowed away on beaches. However, it was not possible to establish which nation the aircraft belonged to, and the EU force have not yet said they have ever launched such an attack. A spokesman for Atalanta, the EU anti-piracy mission, said it was "not involved whatsoever" and declined comment on who might be behind the strike. The United States also operates unmanned drones flying over the Horn of Africa nation, and have reportedly struck suspected Al-Qaeda allied fighters in southern Somalia.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Somali Pirates: Pirate Weather Coming

As indicated in the Office of Naval Intelligence's Piracy Analysis and Warning Weekly, the weather in the Somali pirate areas of major activity is beginning to shift to that more favorable to small boat operations (better for the pirates), so an increase in pirate efforts can be expected through the Gulf of Aden, upper Arabian Sea and the Mozambique Channel:

The redder the color, the increased probability that the weather and sea conditions are good for pirate operations.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Somali Pirates: Possible Hijacking

NATO Shipping Center reports a possible ship hijacking at their Alert Details:
Alert 012/12 08/02/2012 14:40 13.53 58.6 Attacked Alert 012/2012 - Vessel Attacked, Suspected Hijacked Alert number 012 / 2012.
***Vessel suspected hijacked***
At 1438 UTC / 08 FEB 12 / a merchant vessel suspected Hijacked by pirates was in position 13 32 N 058 36 E.
And reports of a hijacking (could be the same one) here:
Photo from Neptune Marine press release
Neptune Maritime Security received information via credible channels that the vessel, MV FREE GODDESS (IMO 9107045), has been successfully hijacked by Somali pirates. According to the report Neptune received, the Liberian-flagged bulk carrier came under attack on February 7, 2012, in position 16.03N 062.26E (approximately 520nm NE of Socotra Island) at around 1500 UTC from an unknown number of pirates. *** The last known positional data on the Free Goddess is that she has dramatically altered course and her last recorded position was 11.59N 056.09E at 090533ZFEB12, approximately 110nm south east of Socotra Island.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Somali Pirates: Still Out There Attacking

Latest unsuccessful Somali pirate attack effort as reported by the fine folks at the NATO Shipping Center in All Alerts:
Alert 007 16/01/2012 08:15
15.03 58.23 Attacked Alert 007 - Pirate Attack A piracy alert has been raised by the Maritime Security Centre.
Date of alert : January 16, 2012
Alert type : Pirate Attack
Location : 15 02 N 058 14 E
Latitude : 15 02 N
Longitude : 058 14 E
Alert number 007 / 2012.
At 0814 UTC 16 JAN a merchant vessel is currently under attack by 1 white skiffs in position 15 02 N 058 14 E. Vessel is SAFE.
Map is portion of NATO SC Alert Map. My arrow.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Strait of Hormuz: Triple Carriers (Briefly?)

Let's see now, one carrier leaves the Arabian/Persian Gulf and hangs about the Northern Indian Ocean/Arabian Sea because its replacement is inbound, the replacement has nearly arrived, and a third is lurking about the area.

USS John C. Stennis
Why, that's three of the big beasts in the region. Hmmm. What message does this send to the self-proclaimed "gatekeepers" of the Strait of Hormuz? Well, none if you believe this sort of headline, "U.S. military moves carriers, denies Iran link":
The U.S. military said on Wednesday that a new aircraft carrier strike group had arrived in the Arabian Sea and that another was on its way to the region, but denied any link to recent tensions with Iran and portrayed the movements as routine.

USS Carl Vinson
The shift in the powerful U.S. naval assets comes at a moment of heightened tensions with Iran, which has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz - the world's most important oil shipping lane - if U.S. and EU sanctions over its nuclear program cut off its oil exports.

The U.S. military has said it will halt any blockade of the strategic strait and the top U.S. naval officer acknowledged on Tuesday that preparing for a potential conflict there was something that "keeps me awake at night."

Still, the Pentagon denied any direct link between recent tensions and the movement of aircraft carriers.

USS Abraham Lincoln
"I don't want to leave anybody with the impression that we're somehow (speeding) two carriers over there because we're concerned about what happened, you know, today in Iran. It's just not the case," said Captain John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman.

Military officials said the USS Carl Vinson arrived in the Arabian Sea on Monday to replace the outgoing USS John C. Stennis carrier strike group, which Iran last week warned not to return to the Gulf after departing in late December.

The Stennis was due to return to its home port in San Diego but the Pentagon did not say when that would happen.

Another carrier strike group, led by the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, concluded a port visit to Thailand on Tuesday and was now in the Indian Ocean. It is on track to join the Vinson in the Central Command area of operations, which begins in the neighboring Arabian Sea.
Why would anyone think there was a message involved?

By the way, carriers do not travel alone. They have escort services.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Somali Pirates: 15 Nov 11 Alert

From the friendly NATO Shipping Center
Attack off Oman - vessel safe
Alert 237 15/11/2011 04:30 15.85 55.11
Attacked Alert 237 Attacked, vessel safe
A piracy alert has been raised by the Maritime Security Centre.

Date of alert : November 15, 2011
Alert type : Attempted Attack
Location : [237] Arabian Sea- Indian Ocean 1551N 05507E
Latitude : 15 51 N
Longitude : 055 07 E


Alert number 237 / 2011.

At 0427 UTC / 15 OCT 11 / a merchant vessel is currently under attack by 1 skiff in position 1551N 05507E.

Warning area for possible Pirate Action Group
Attacked vessel reported possible mothership location 1548N 05507E. Unconfirmed.
**** UPDATE ****
**** Vessel is safe ****
**** Nato Shipping Centre is monitoring the situation ****

Monday, July 04, 2011

Recent Attacks on Shipping (to 4 July 11)

Rough sea conditions in their main operating areas, along with the presence of naval forces and armed security guards on some merchant ships, have slowed the Somali pirates somewhat, however, there is still a whole lot of pirate-like activity around the world, as seen in the reports below.

From IMB's Live Piracy Reports
04.07.2011: 0415 LT: Posn: 06:05.9S – 106:53.0E, Tg. Priok port, Jakarta, Indonesia. Three robbers armed with knives boarded a berthed bulk carrier during discharging operations via the shore side cargo net. Duty crew noticed the robbers near the forward store and informed the D/O who raised the alarm. The duty crew tried to stop the robbers from stealing but was threatened with a knife. The robbers lowered the stolen properties into a small boat on the sea side and escaped.

01.07.2011: 2341 LT: Posn: 01:16.6N – 104:12.8E, around 3.7nm south of Tg. Ayam, Malaysia. Robbers in four fast moving boats attempted to board a bulk carrier underway. Alarm raised, fire hoses activated, all deck lights switched on, anti-piracy crew directed searchlights towards the boats, evasive manoeuvres carried out in the restricted TSS lane and VTIS Singapore informed. After several attempts, the boats aborted the attack and moved away.
01.07.2011: 1835 UTC: Posn: 01:31.6N – 104:32.2E, South China Sea. Duty officer onboard a tug towing a barge sighted three pirates armed with knives. Alarm raised and crew alerted. Upon hearing the alarm, the pirates escaped in their speed boat. A search was conducted and no pirates were found onboard and nothing was stolen. The tug continued her passage.(see below for ReCAAP discussion)
30.06.2011: 0630 UTC: Cat Lai anchorage, Vietnam. While at anchor, the duty officer onboard a container ship noticed two boats approaching the vessel. He instructed the duty ABs to investigate. The persons in the boat pretended to be fishermen trying to sell fish, phone cards fruits etc. The boat people engaged the Abs for nearly 30 minutes before moving away. It was later discovered that ship stores had been stolen from the forward stores. Attempts to contact port control was futile.
30.06.2011: 0205 UTC: Posn: 06:00N – 002:29E: Cotonou anchorage, Benin.
Armed robbers in a speed boat boarded a product tanker during STS operations, stole ship’s and crew properties and escaped. For safe STS operations the vessel had to remove the razor wire surrounding the vessel. The robbers used this to their advantage and gained access to the vessel.

29.06.2011: 1530 UTC: Posn: 13:17N – 042:59E, around 21nm NE of Assab, Eritrea,Red Sea. Two skiffs with six pirates in each skiff approached a chemical tanker underway. Master raised alarm, crew alerted and commenced manoeuvring. At a distance of 100 meters a ladder and weapons were sighted in the skiff. Onboard security team fired warning shots and the pirates aborted the attack.

Earlier incident of RPG armed pirates
26.06.2011: 0910 UTC: Posn: 21:42N – 060:29E: Around 62nm SE of Ras al Hadd, Oman. (Off Somalia) Two skiffs with five pirates in each chased a bulk carrier underway. The pirates fired RPGs at the vessel. The pirates managed to hook on the ladder onto the ships rail however due to evasive manoeuvres and using sea and swell to advantage coupled with razor wire and response from coalition navies the pirates aborted the attempt and moved away. A grey hulled mother vessel approximately 40meters in length was reported in the vicinity.

From Maritime Safety Information:
Red arrows point to attacks
A. (U) GULF OF GUINEA: A chemical tanker was hijacked 26 June off of Cotonou, Benin.
B. (U) ARABIAN SEA: Bulk carrier (SAGAR RATAN) experienced an attempted boarding 26 June approximately 72NM southeast of Sur, Oman.
C. (U) GULF OF GUINEA: A tanker was robbed 24 June while anchored at the Cotonou anchorage, Benin.
D. (U) GULF OF GUINEA: A chemical tanker was hijacked 24 June approximately 12NM southeast of Cotonou, Benin.
E. (U) GULF OF GUINEA: A vessel was robbed 23 June approximately 11NM southeast of Cotonou, Benin.
F. (U) ATLANTIC OCEAN: A refrigerated cargo vessel was robbed 23 June while anchored in the Matadi anchorage, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
G. (U) INDONESIA: A bulk carrier was robbed 22 June while anchored in the Surabaya anchorage, Indonesia.
and more information from the Anti-Shipping Activity Messages
Oman area attack, all close together and on sea lane
Date of Occurrence: 06/26/2011 Reference Number: 2011-310 Geographical Subregion: 62 Geographical Location: 21° 42' 00" N 60° 29' 00" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: BULK CARRIER Description: RAS AL HADD, OMAN: Two skiffs with five pirates in each chased a bulk carrier underway. The pirates fired rpgs at the vessel. The pirates managed to hook on the ladder onto the ships rail however due to evasive maneuvers and using sea and swell to advantage coupled with razor wire and response from coalition navies the pirates aborted the attempt and moved away. A grey hulled mother vessel approximately 40 meters in length was reported in the vicinity.

Date of Occurrence: 06/26/2011 Reference Number: 2011-311 Geographical Subregion: 62 Geographical Location: 21° 45' 00" N 60° 31' 00" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: MERCHANT VESSEL Description: ARABIAN SEA: Merchant vessel attacked in vicinity 21-45N 060-31E at 0949z on 26 Jun. Vessels are advised to keep 100 miles clear of this position and to exercise extreme caution.

Date of Occurrence: 06/24/2011 Reference Number: 2011-309 Geographical Subregion: 57 Geographical Location: 6° 08' 35" N 2° 28' 16" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: MERCHANT VESSEL Description: 12 MILES OFF COTONOU, BENIN: Four robbers in a speed boat boarded the vessel. All crew went into the citadel, but robbers managed to capture the 2nd engineer before he could enter the citadel. Seeing this, the Master presented himself to the robbers as well. The robbers took the Master and 2nd engineer and stole ship's and crew's cash. Personal belongings were taken, during this time the Master and the 2nd engineer were also hit by the robbers. Port control was contacted but received no response. At the time of the incident the vessel was undergoing STS operations and had to remove the razor wire to enable smooth operations. The robbers took advantage of this and gained access to the vessel.

Date of Occurrence: 06/24/2011 Reference Number: 2011-307 Geographical Subregion: 62 Geographical Location: 21° 03' 00" N 60° 12' 00" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: CHEMICAL TANKER Description: 74 MILES EAST OF GHALAT, OMAN: Two skiffs with six pirates in each chased and attempted to attack a chemical tanker underway. Master raised alarm, increased speed and took evasive maneuvers. The onboard security fired warning shots resulting in the pirates aborting the attempted attack and moved towards their mother vessel. The mother vessel was observed picking up the two skiffs.

Date of Occurrence: 06/24/2011 Reference Number: 2011-306 Geographical Subregion: 57 Geographical Location: 6° 09' 35" N 2° 32' 00" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: CHEMICAL TANKER Description: COTONOU, BENIN: Twelve armed pirates boarded a chemical tanker drifting in preparation for STS operations. They took hostage all crewmembers and hijacked the tanker. The tanker was released after 17 hours. Awaiting further details.

Benin attacks
Date of Occurrence: 06/24/2011 Reference Number: 2011-308 Geographical Subregion: 57 Geographical Location: 6° 15' 54" N 2° 33' 24" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: TANKER Description: COTONOU ANCHORAGE, BENIN: About ten robbers armed with guns and knives in a speed boat were seen approaching an anchored tanker with STS fenders alongside. Duty officer raised alarm, activated the SSAS and called port control but received no response. Four robbers boarded the tanker via the STS fenders, entered the bridge and took the Master to his cabin and stole ship's cash and personal belongings. Later the duty officer was taken to his cabin as well as all the other crew cabins and stole crew personal belongings. At this time the crew were threatened. Some crew were also beaten. All the robbers left the tanker at 0330 local time. Port control was called again but there still was no answer.

DR of Congo Attack

Date of Occurrence: 06/23/2011 Reference Number: 2011-302 Geographical Subregion: 57 Geographical Location: 5° 52' 00" S 13° 24' 43" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: REFRIGERATED CARGO SHIP Description: MATADI ANCHORAGE, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Robbers boarded and stole ship stores from an anchored refrigerated cargo vessel on three occasions between 0500 local and 0740 local time. Duty crew spotted the robbers and raised the alarm on each occasion resulting in the robbers jumping overboard and escaping in a waiting boat. No response received from port authority when called on VHF. [Note by E1: Interesting as it appears to be a river attack]
Closer view of DR Congo reported attack area

Date of Occurrence: 06/23/2011 Reference Number: 2011-303 Geographical Subregion: 72 Geographical Location: 7° 11' 30" S 112° 43' 30" E Aggressor: PIRATES Victim: BULK CARRIER Description: SURABAYA ANCHORAGE, INDONESIA: Robbers boarded an anchored bulk carrier from the stern as the duty crew was taking routine rounds forward. They stole ship's stores and escaped. When the duty crew reached the stern, he found ship's stores missing and raised the alarm. Port control and local agents informed.
For those of you unfamiliar with it, ReCAAP is The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia, an international agreement (and organization) devoted to fighting piracy in the Malacca Strait and other parts of the South Asian waters. Since its implementation, piracy in the area has decreased. ReCAAP keeps a watchful eye on the South China Sea, too, and recently, in a Special Report dated 29 June 11 (pdf download) that notes an apparent pattern of hijacking ocean going tugs:
5. A total of 11 incidents of hijacking and missing vessels were reported between
2008 and 2011, comprising two incidents in 2008, one incident in 2009, three incidents in 2010 and five incidents in 2011 (up to June 2011).
6. Except for the incident involving tanker Blue Ocean 7 on 21 May 08, all the other 10 incidents involved tug boats. Tug boats are vulnerable targets as they tend to operate nearer to coast (on coastal voyages), slow moving, with low free board and less crew onboard.
Vicinity of 1 July tug  attack off Malaysia (click to enlarge)
The report goes on to analyze the patterns, report the economic basis for the hijackings (newer boats preferred to old because they sell for more), suggest tug boat security rules and it has maps detailing the prime attack areas. Interesting read.

The 1 July thwarted attack set out  in red above appears to fall into this pattern of criminality.

You may recall the hijacked tug, Atlantic 5, found being renamed in the Philippines as set out in my post here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Somali Pirates: USS Mason Intercepts Pirate Mother-ship in Arabian Sea

USS Mason Intercepts Pirate Mother-ship in Arabian Sea:

Guided missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87), flagship of the Singapore-led Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, freed a dhow from suspected pirates in the Arabian Sea, April 10.

The FV Nasri was initially sighted on April 9, by an Australian Maritime Patrol Aircraft. USS Mason, being the nearest warship, was tasked immediately to close and investigate.

Mason and its embarked helicopter located the Nasri early on the morning, April 10. The helicopter’s crew saw 16 personnel, a motored skiff, a ladder and several oil barrels on board. The personnel on the dhow complied with verbal warnings to stop, and assemble on the deck where they could be clearly seen.

The boarding team from Mason searched the dhow and found weapons and other common piracy paraphernalia, such as ladders and excessive fuel drums. They identified 11 of the men as suspected pirates, and five as members of the dhow’s crew.

Pirates are known to use the crew of captured vessels as hostages and also to operate their vessels as mother-ships from which to launch further attacks.

The Nasri was returned to its crew and departed the area.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Somali Pirates: Ship Taken Off Oman

MV Susan K
Reported NATO Shipping Centre: SOMALIA PIRACY UPDATE 8 APRIL 2011

April 08, 2011
Latitude 18 25N Longitude 057 27E
Alert 151 /2011
---UPDATE to Alert 150---
At 0234 GMT a merchant vessel was under attack by pirates.
***Vessel has been hijacked***
April 08, 2011
Latitude 18 25N Longitude 057 27E
Alert Number 150 / 2011
At 0234 UTC / 08 APR 11 / a merchant vessel is currently under attack.
NATO map shows hijacking in black, number 151 (under the red arrow I have added):

Early reports indicate the vessel is a cargo ship named MV Susan K, German owned. From EUNAVFOR:
In the early morning of 8 April, the General Cargo ship MV SUSAN K was pirated approximately 200 nautical miles North-East of Salalah, Oman; a location only 35 nautical miles from the Omani coastline.
The vessel was attacked and boarded by at least 10 pirates although exact details of the attack are not known at this time.
The Antigua & Barbuda flagged and German owned vessel was on its way to Port Sudan (Sudan) from Mumbai (India) when it was attacked. The MV SUSAN K has a crew of 10 (4 Ukraine and 6 Filipino). There is no further information about the crew at present.
More from SomaliaReport which reports the crew originally went to a citadel.

Apparently, that wasn't enough.

Ship photo by Jochen Wegenerfrom and used in accord with the terms of that site.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Somali Pirates: Minelayer from Finland Breaks Up Pirate Party

Finnish Defense Forces press release (in Finnish) here.

Reported as Finnish Naval Vessel Intercepts Pirates in Arabian Sea:
FNS Pohjanmaa
The Finnish minelayer Pohjanmaa intervened in suspected pirate operations in the Arabian Sea early on Wednesday morning. The pirate vessel tried to feel the scene, but the Pohjanmaa prevented its escape by firing warning shots.

The Pohjanmaa intercepted the suspected pirates about 500 kilometres south east of Oman.

An inspection brigade from the Pohjanmaa discovered materials related to maritime piracy on board the suspect vessel. Interrogation of the 18-man crew is underway.
More at Minelayer Pohjanmaa arrests suspected pirates in Atalanta operation off Oman coast:
Reports so far indicate that the seizure of the vessel took place early on Wednesday morning, some 500 kilometres south-east from Salalah in Oman.
The suspected pirates were aboard a vessel that was towing two smaller boats behind it.
***The minelayer remains on station, attempting to determine the nature of the crew-members.
BZ, Finland!

Are you (and the pirates) beginning to see a more aggressive trend in anti-pirate operations?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Somali Pirates: Hijack a Ship 28 Mar 11

From NATO Shipping Centre: SOMALIA PIRACY UPDATE 28 MARCH 2011:
March 28, 2011
Latitude: 15 36N Longitude: 057 04E
Alert Number 144 / 2011
Replaces alert 143
At 0613 UTC / 28 MAR 11/ a merchant vessel was attack by pirates.
2 skiffs, RPG and small arms used.
***This vessel has been hijacked***
Early reports indicate the vessel as a tanker, Zirku, UAE registry.

Ship photo from by J J Fernandez and used iaw terms of that site.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Daily Somali Piracy Overview from the NATO Shipping Centre

From the fine folks at the NATO Shipping Centre (or Center) - Daily Somali Piracy Overview:
FS Montesa/Monteza
There’s continuing high piracy activity in the Arabian Sea, with two attacks and several approaches/ suspicious activities reported this week, It is assessed that these are probably conducted by dhow based and FV PAGs. Two fishing vessels used as mother ships (FS JIH CHUN TSAI 68 and FS MONTESA/MORTEZA) are also active in this area. The piracy activity is also increasing in Somali Basin. During the past weeks, several whaler based PAGs where reported missing along the shore indicating a possible upcoming increase of pirate activity in the southern Somali Basin as well as off the coast of Kenya, Tanzania and towards the Mozambique Cannel. The weather forecast further supports increased activity as the monsoon transition period seems to finally have settled. In the Gulf of Aden weather condition for the next 24 hours are also favourable for small boat activities and pirates attacks in this area are likely.

Somali Pirates: U.S. Navy Disrupts Pirate Attempt In Arabian Sea

U.S. Navy Disrupts Pirate Attempt In Arabian Sea:
U.S. Naval forces disrupted a pirate attack on M/V Falcon Trader II, a Philippine-flagged merchant vessel, after it reported it had been attacked by pirates March 24.

All 20 Filipino crew members of the Falcon Trader II are safe and in control of the vessel.

An SH-60B Sea Hawk helicopters from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 48 embarked aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) and a rigid-hull inflatable boat from Leyte Gulf monitor the Philippine-flagged merchant vessel M/V Falcon Trader II, which had sent out a distress call reporting it had been boarded by pirates. Helicopters from the Leyte Gulf and USS Enterprise (CVN 65) responded to the call and were able to disrupt the attack.  (U.S. Navy photo Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert Guerra/Released)
At approximately 10:30 a.m. (local), aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) and guided missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), conducting operations supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, responded to a distress call from the M/V Falcon Trader II reporting that suspected pirates in a small skiff were attempting to board the vessel.

In a second report from the crew of Falcon Trader II, they stated there were pirates aboard and that all 20 crew members were safe and had locked themselves into a safe room, also known as a 'citadel'. The citadel is a secure room with food, water, communication and control over the vessel's steering and propulsion.

A SH-60F helicopter assigned to the "Dragonslayers" of Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron (HS) 11 from the Enterprise and a SH-60B helicopter assigned to the "Vipers" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 48 from the Leyte Gulf were sent to investigate the situation.
Sailors man a dual-mounted M-60 machine gun aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) as an SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters from Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 11 and Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 48 embarked aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) and Leyte Gulf hover near the Philippine-flagged merchant vessel M/V Falcon Trader II after a distress call reported it had been boarded by pirates. (U.S. Navy photo Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert Guerra/Released)

Once on scene, the HS-11 helicopter fired warning shots to dissuade the pirates from continuing their attack. Following this, two pirates were witnessed jumping off the bow of the M/V Falcon Trader II and the pirates' skiff fled the area, pursued by HS-11's helicopter.

As the pirate's skiff was attempting to rendezvous with a larger vessel suspected to be acting as a 'mother ship', the pirates shot at the helicopter with small arms. The helicopter and its crew were not harmed and returned to continue conducting reconnaissance of the scene.

"We could definitely see the muzzle flashes from their AK-47s, but we weren't hit," said Lt. Joshua A. Overn, a pilot aboard the helicopter. "The anti-piracy training we had received kicked in, and everyone conducted themselves with poise and professionalism."

With no confirmation that all the pirates had left the vessel, a Leyte Gulf crewmember fluent in the Filipino language, Tagalog, remained in contact with the Falcon Trader's crew in the citadel and monitored the vessel overnight. The following morning, after observing no suspicious activity, Leyte Gulf's visit, board, search and seizure team boarded and secured the vessel. Confirming no pirates remained aboard, they notified the crew that it was safe to come out of the citadel.
Sailors on the USS Leyte Gulf get ready for boarding (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert Guerra/Released)

"It says a great deal about the inherent flexibility and capability of the Enterprise Strike Group that we were able to conduct counter-piracy operations while simultaneously flying Operation Enduring Freedom missions and coordinating air defense of the region," said Capt. Eugene Black, commanding officer of Leyte Gulf.

U.S. forces continue to monitor the suspected pirate mother ship. Pirates are known to keep hostages onboard mother ships to prevent counter-piracy forces from acting directly against them.

"This is a great example of the teamwork inherent in a Carrier Strike Group," said Rear Adm. Terry Kraft, commander of Enterprise Strike Group. "We were lucky to be on scene when the attack occurred, and everyone did their jobs well."
BZ to all involved!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Somali Pirates: 22 March Updates

From the NATO Shipping Center, signs of the fog of the piracy war:
March 22,2011
ALERT 133 / 2011
At 0732 UTC / 22 MAR 11 / pirated MV JIN CHUN TSAI 68, suspected acting as mother ship, was reported in position 17 41N 063 18E.
March 22, 2011
MV Sinar Kudus
ALERT 124 / 2011 UPDATE
At 0550 utc / 22 Mar 2011 / Pirated MV SINAR KUDUS, suspected acting as mothership, was reported in position 14 20N 057 11E, Course: 228 / Speed: 11kts
March 21, 2011
Latitude: 17 39N. Longitude: 062 02E
Alert Update 132 / 2011
Reference previous Alert number 131 / 2011.
At 1449 UTC / 21 MAR 11 / a merchant vessel, believed to be pirated, was reported in position 1739 N 063 02 E.
This vessel has NOT been pirated.
The Pirate action group is still in the area.
March 21, 2011
Latitude: 17 39N. Longitude: 063 02E
Alert Update 131 / 2011
At 1449 UTC 21 MAR 11 a believed pirated merchant vessel was reported in position 17 39N 063 02E course 328 sp 12.
March 21, 2011
Latitude: 17 14N. Longitude: 063 18E
Alert 131 / 2011
At 1202 UTC 21 MAR 11 a merchant vessel was reported under attack by 2 skiffs in position 17 14N 063 18E.
[2 skiffs, fired upon vessel]
***This vessel is believed to be hijacked***
NATO daily summary:
MV Liquid Crystal
There is a continuing high level of piracy activity in the Arabian Sea, with one attack and a number of approaches and suspicious events taking place, most assessed as conducted by dhow-based Pirate Attack Groups (PAGs). Two Fishing Vessels used as mother ships which one of them was involved in the attack of MV LIQUID CRISTAL are also operating in the middle of Arabian Sea. The recently hijacked MV SINAR KUDUS is now moving south towards the Somali coast but can still conduct pirate mother-ship operations in this area.

In the same way the piracy activity is increasing in the Somali basin over the past weeks. MV AL NOUF has recently been attacked in the central Somali basin and whaler PAGs were reported underway off the Somali coast to most likely operate in the southern Somali Basin off Mombasa and towards the Mozambique Channel. It is assessed that the attacks conducted from whaler-based PAGs will continue in the central and southern SB when weather will become conducive.
Photo of MV Liquid Crystal from by Luis Felipe G Vaz and used in accord with the terms of that site.