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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Pirates: New ICC CCS Piracy Report Posted

At the ICC Commercial Crime Services the piracy report for 12-18 April is posted with this warning:
Somalian waters – after a quiet spell, serious attacks have resumed off Somalia. Since 31.03.2005, three incidents were reported where pirates armed with guns and grenades have attacked ships and fired upon them. These attacks took place far away from Somali coast. Eastern and north eastern coasts of Somalia continue to be high-risk areas for hijackings. Ships not making scheduled calls to ports in these areas should stay away from the coast.
And from the waters of the Malacca Strait:
14.04.2005 at 0800 UTC in position 02:59N - 100:47E, Malacca straits.
An airborne helicopter from a French warship spotted four 15m long boats, powered by three outboard engines with their front covered by canvas. Each boat was manned by two persons wearing masks. Boats approached a container ship underway and came within 300 metres. Upon sighting the helicopter, boats altered course and headed towards Indonesian coast.
Hmmm, a French warship with its helo scouting for it? Interesting. Also interesting is the description of the boats and crew "three outboard motors" and "persons wearing masks." Probably just pleasure boaters, n'cest pas?

Update: Of course, I missed this earlier:
0.04.2005 1200 UTC in posn 00:50S– 047:36E off eastern coast of Somalia.
Armed pirates boarded a ship underway. They took hostage all 17 crewmembers, hijacked the ship and forced her to anchor close to Somali coast. IMB piracy reporting centre alerted relevant authorities. Further news is awaited.

As reported by Maritime Global Net
SEVENTEEN crew members are being held hostage on their ship, which is now anchored off the Somali coast after armed pirates boarded the ship while it was underway. Very few details have been released but the International Maritime Bureau, in its latest weekly report, says its piracy reporting centre alerted relevant authorities. It adds: “Further news is awaited.”
More info on other Somali attacks:
An attack by pirates on a Russian cargo ship off the coast of Somalia on Sunday was repulsed by the ship’s crew.

The Tim Buck cargo ship with a Cypriot flag was on its way from the port of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to the Tanzanian port of Dar el-Salam. It was leased by the Murmansk Shipping Line.

Pirates from two speedboats attempted to board the Russian vessel. There were armed with assault rifles and grenade launchers, Interfax news agency reported citing the head of the shipping company’s press service, Vladimir Blinov.

The attackers fired two grenades at a life boat that subsequently caught fire. However, the cargo ship’s crew repulsed the attack. Blinov said the crew “acted in compliance with the international code of vessels protection”. None of the crew was injured during the attack. After the incident, the Tim Buck continued on its journey.

The International Navigation Bureau recommends that captains avoid coming within 100 nautical miles of the Somali coast due to pirate activity.

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