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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Piracy Reports

ICC Commercial Crime Services Weekly Piracy Report (to 28 Aug 07) from here: Highlights:
5.08.2007: 0300 UTC: Conakry anchorage, Guinea. About 30 robbers armed with guns boarded a chemical tanker. Crew locked all access to ship and attempted to contact local authorities for help but failed to get any response. Robbers later left the ship. Nothing stolen and no harm to crew/ ship. Ship weighed anchor and proceeded to high seas for safety.
24.08.2007: 0055 LT: 03:55.3N – 098:46.56E: Belawan anchorage, Indonesia. A product tanker at anchor, waiting to berth, maintained an anti piracy watch on the forecastle, main deck and poop deck. The ABs on the main deck and poop heard the AB on the forecastle shouting. They alerted the bridge on radio. The D/O tried to contact him but there was no response. The alarm was raised and the crew alerted. A through search was carried out for the AB but he was not found. Local authorities informed.
23.08.2007: 0555 UTC: 00:58N - 050:48E, Somalia. A container ship, underway, spotted a suspected pirate boat at a range of 10 nm. The boat suddenly increased speed and headed for the ship. The ship increased speed and took evasive manoeuvres to maintain a CPA of not less than 5 nm with the boat. The suspected boat pursued the ship for around two and a half hours before giving up the pursuit.
ONI Worldwide Threats to Shipping (to 22 August 07 ?)- highlights:
1. SOMALIA: Cargo vessel (DANICA WHITE) hijacked likely on 01 Jun at an estimated distance of 205 NM off the central east coast of Somalia. The U.S. dock landing ship (CARTER HALL) had been on patrol in international waters under operational control of Combined Task Force 150 when it encountered the (DANICA WHITE) on 02 Jun. No distress call had been received by Coalition forces but it quickly became clear to the sailors aboard the (CARTER HALL) that the vessel was under pirate control. The Carter Hall crew fired machine gun bursts, first as warning shots and then disabling shots nearly destroying the three small pirate skiffs in tow behind the hijacked vessel. The pirates, hiding behind hostages as human shields, forced the vessel into Somali territorial waters where the Coalition warship could not enter due to rules of engagement. The Danish flagged vessel was carrying building and construction materials to Mombasa from Dubai with a crew of five Danish nationals. The vessel is believed to be anchored in the vicinity of five other hijacked vessels being held for ransom between Harardere and Hobiyo, Somalia. ONI COMMENT: Based on extrapolations of estimated time-distance variables, ONI assesses the hijacking likely occurred in the vicinity of 01:50N 050:02E sometime in the afternoon on 01 Jun. This location is approximately 70NM NE of the reported attack locations on the (IBN YOUNUS), (MUVUNO I) and (MAVUNO II). Cargo vessel (DANICA WHITE) has reportedly been released on or about 23 Aug 07, after a ransom demanded by pirates has been paid. The vessel is currently underway to Djibouti (about three days away), escorted by the French corvette (BLAISON). Where upon arrival, the crew will fly from out to be reunited with their families. There has been no confirmation on the ransom amount paid however, according to Danish TV2 News, it reports that a ransom of US$1.5 million (Note by Eagle1: I have it on reliable authority that the paid ransom was substantially less than that) has been paid to the pirates for the release of the ship and five crew (ONI, Navy Times, IMB, CNN, FOX, REUTERS).
7. SRI LANKA: Sea battle between Sri Lankan Navy and LTTE, weapons recovered 17
Aug 07, around 0200 local time, off Manalkadu coast, Point Pedro. An LTTE boat fixed with an eight Horse Power Out-Board Motor was observed by a Navy patrol craft. When the patrol craft moved in to investigate, the LTTE boat fired at the craft. The Navy retaliated taking the LTTE boat into custody. In addition to a body with a cyanide capsule, the Navy recovered a 40mm Grenade Launcher with nine rounds, a GPS and two SMG magazines (LM: Daily News, Ministry of Defence).
8. SRI LANKA: Sea battle between Sri Lankan Navy and LTTE, personnel killed 13 Aug 07, pre-dawn off Nayaru. Navy personnel intercepted a group of Sea Tiger boats moving toward the Pulmodai area on the northeast coast. The Navy claimed to have sunk a rebel craft after a three-hour sea battle that left three government sailors wounded. Navy sources believed that at least 12-15 rebels may have been aboard the boat that was sunk. The Navy stated that several LTTE boats were damaged in the skirmish while the pro-rebel websites claims that three Sri Lankan gunboats were also damaged. The Sri Lankan military claimed that the third seniormost leader of the “LTTE’s rudimentary naval wing” was killed along with other
senior cadres in the intense sea battle (LM: Times of India, The Hindu).
UPDATE: New report that crew of Danica White has arrived safely in Djibouti:
Five Danish seafarers abducted by Somali pirates two months ago arrived safely in Djibouti on Tuesday and were all in good health, a Western official said.

A ransom was reportedly paid last week for the safe return of the MV Danica's crew, who had been transporting building materials from Dubai to Kenya when they were seized off Somalia in the world's most dangerous waterway.

"The Danish crew have arrived in Djibouti and are in good health. They plan to leave tonight," said the Western official, who is not authorised (?)to speak to the media.

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