Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Pirates and other activity: Latest ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping Report (to 4 Apr 07) and ICC CCS Piracy Report (to 10 Apr 07)

Latest ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping Report (to 4 Apr 07) and ICC CCS Piracy Report (to 10 Apr 07) found here
and here respectively. Both show increasing activity off Somalia especially.

ONI WWTS highlights:
1. SOMALIA: On 04 Apr, the IMB warned of a marked increase in attacks and hijackings off the Southern part of Somalia, particularly off Mogadishu. So far, victims have been vessels with cargo destined for Somali ports. The IMB advises vessels steer well clear of Somali waters at all times and to only approach the coast once full clearance has been granted to enter the port. ONI Comment: Based on analysis of past and present reporting, vessels are most susceptible to piracy attacks as they enter, exist, or transit near East coast Somali ports, particularly the ports of Mogadishu, Merca, and Kismayo. Additionally, vessels transiting off the Northeast horn of Somalia are at equal risk of attack, particularly off Caluula, as well as in-between the coast of Somalia and Socotra Island, Yemen. Past incidents from 2005 and early 2006 demonstrate pirates have the ability to attack large transiting merchant vessels as far as 200 NM from the coast of Somali with the assistance of smaller hijacked dhows. As of 06 Apr, two dhows have recently thwarted attacks and one has been successfully hijacked while
off Somali ports. ONI recommends vessels not calling on Somali ports maintain a 200 NM standoff when transiting the East coast of Somalia. Somali port authorities and vessels calling on Somali ports should take precautions that present a clearly overt ability to defend against hostile boardings (ONI, IMB).
2. INDONESIA: Tanker (AI MARU) boarded 14 Mar at 1630 local time while underway in position 01-07.29N 105-03.66E approximately 30NM east of Pulau Bintan. The tanker was approached by two speedboats with ten men. The men were dressed in camouflage and carried shot guns, rifles and daggers. One of them had on a ski mask. They boarded the tanker and tied up all crew members and blindfolded them. The master of the ship was punched several times with no serious injuries. The gunmen also damaged the ship’s radio communications equipment and took the ship’s documents, crew passports, seaman books, cash, and hand phones before they fled in their speedboats. All crew were accounted for with no injuries. The master reported
that there was not a single shot fired by the men during the incident. The ReCCAP ISC Focal Point (Singapore) advises ship-owners and masters to exercise vigilance while transiting this location (ReCAPP ISC).
ICC Commercial Crime Services highligts:
14.03.2007: 1626LT : Posn 01:07.29N - 105:03.66E, 30NM East of Bintan Island, Indonesia. 10 heavily armed pirates intercepted and boarded a product tanker in two, navy grey coloured, fiberglass speed crafts with out board engines. The crew activated the AIS Alert System and broadcasted a distress message. The pirates, at gun point, demanded that the crew comply with their orders. The crew was tied up and blind folded. The pirates took control of the ship and the master was ordered to turn the ship North East towards the Malapas Island. They stole crew personal effects and ship’s property. After steaming for 45 minutes the pirates smashed all communication equipment. The ship‘s engines stalled 40nm from Horsburgh Lighthouse. When the pirates could not restart the engines they abandoned the ship and escaped in their speed boats. The crew managed to free themselves, VTIS was informed and the ship made its way to Singapore. No injuries to crew. All cargo intact. {NB E1: The last ONI incident and this ICC CCS are the same action with slightly different details}

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