Landing the Big One

Landing the Big One

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Latest ONI Worldwide Threats to Shipping Report (to 7 May 08) and latest ICC CCS Piracy Report (to 12 May 08)

The latest ONI Worldwide Threats to Shipping Report (to 7 May 08) can be found here. Highlights:
4. UNITED NATIONS: US, France draft UN resolution to battle pirates off Somalia, per 21 Apr 08 reporting. The United States and France are drafting a UN resolution that would allow countries to chase and arrest pirates off Somalia’s coast, in response to a spate of recent attacks. France’s UN Ambassador Jean-Maruice Ripert said the resolution would authorize foreign governments to pursue pirate vessels into territorial waters, make arrests, and prosecute suspects. The International Maritime Organization has welcomed moves by the French government to seek United Nations Security Council support in tackling piracy off Somalia. Per 29 Apr 08 reporting, the US and France, backed by the UK and Panama, introduced a draft Resolution to the UN that would rally maritime nations to tackle piracy off Somalia. According to news reports, the Resolution would authorize foreign states to enter Somali waters to stop and search suspect vessels and detaining identified pirates and their craft. Intervention would require approval from Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) which has itself repeatedly called on the UN for help in tackling sea piracy. According to AP, the Resolution further urges nations with naval assets in the Horn of Africa region to co-operate with each other, the IMO and “other organizations” to track down pirates and take them into custody. The draft proposes that “relevant” states co-operate to decide on jurisdiction for detaining and prosecuting pirates (AFP, LL, LM: Daily News).
23. INDIAN OCEAN: Chemical tanker fired upon 04 May 08 around 1300 UTC while underway in position 01:00N 051:30E, 300NM from the east coast of Somalia. The IMB Piracy Reporting Center received a call from the vessel owner stating the tanker was fired upon by
pirates in two speedboats. The master took evasive maneuvers, increased to max speed and turned to a course of 090 degrees. Machine gun fire and some form of projectiles were reportedly directed at the vessel. At 1420 UTC, the small boats were reported to be 5NM away but still pursuing. At 1530 UTC, the tanker lost all contact with the small boats and resumed course to next destination. No injuries to crew reported. ONI COMMENT: This incident occurred well beyond the usual Somali piracy operating range of 200NM from the east coast of Somalia. All vessels are advised to maintain strict vigilance at all distances from the Somali coast and report all suspicious sightings or radar contacts of larger vessels (vessels loitering or towing small skiffs) that could be supporting this activity in the vicinity of this attack (IMB, UKMTO, ONI).
4. MALAYSIA: Product Tanker (PATARAVARIN 2) boarded, robbed 25 Apr 08 at 0020 local time while underway in position 01:31.00N-104:24.50E, approximately 10NM east of Tg Penawar. The vessel was carrying a cargo of jet fuel while underway towards the port of Phuket, Thailand. Six masked men armed with pistols came along side in their 20 feet long, two 300 HP Yamaha engine speedboat. They boarded the vessel and forced the ship master to reduce the speed of the vessel. They held the five Thai crewmembers at gunpoint and handcuffed them. According to the master, the pirates spoke to the crew in English and communicated among themselves in Indonesian. The pirates ransacked the vessel and took away the ship’s VHF communication equipment, notebook, crew’s personal belongings, and cash. They left the ship at approximately 0040 local time with two other pirates waiting for them in their speedboat. No crewmembers injured. The ship master reported the incident to the coastal state and the flag state (ReCAAP ISC, LM:
Latest ICC CCS Piracy Report (to 12 May 08) found here. Highlights:
04.05.2008: 1810 LT: 15:05.0N-051:13.0E: Gulf of Aden. Two white speedboats chased a general cargo ship underway. Ship took evasive manoeuvres to prevent boats from getting closer. The two speedboats moved towards other larger vessels in the vicinity. Later, they returned with two more black speedboats, followed ship for a while, and then aborted the chase.
10.05.2008: 1625 LT: 05:35N - 097:05E, Northern Sumatera, Malacca straits. Pirates in military camouflage attempted to board a chemical tanker underway using a bamboo pole attached to a hook. Master raised alarm and alerted ships in vicinity. Pirates aborted the attempt and escaped in their blue hull speedboat. (see also here)

02.05.2008: 0200 LT: 03:48.98.3N – 100:43.03.3E, 4 nm off Tanjung Sauh, Malaysia. Two fishing boats and eight-crew were attacked and hijacked while the crew was resting. The boats were taken to an Indonesian island and all the crew were forced to jump overboard. A passing Indonesian fishing boat rescued the crew and handed them over to the Indonesian navy. All crew were repatriated to Malaysia safely after investigation.
04.05.2008: 2215 LT: 01:00N-051:30E: Off Somalia.Two speedboats chased a chemical tanker underway. Pirates opened fire on the tanker. Master took evasive manoeuvres and increased speed. Later, the boats aborted the chase. Ship continued her passage. No reported injuries to crew. (same incident as ONI #23 above)

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