Thursday, May 22, 2008

Piracy and Shipping Threat Reports

Most recent ONI Worldwide Threats to Shipping Report (t0 14 May 08) (a report covering a month but published weekly)here. Highlights:
3. NIGERIA: Oil ship (LOURDES TIDE) hijacked 13 May 08, evening, near Port Harcourt. The vessel, which ferries supplies for the oil company Chevron, was sailing from Onne port in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to Escravos in Delta State when gunmen boarded and hijacked the vessel. The militants are reportedly demanding a ransom of 30m naira (approximately $259,000USD) for the boat and the crew of 11. Chevron confirmed the attack and reportedly promised to assist in the release of the hostages. The MEND has stated they were not responsible for the attack. No one has claimed responsibility (AFP, BBC).
4. GULF OF ADEN: Tanker reported suspicious approach 15 May 08 while underway in position 12:43.1N-045:42.6E, 31NM east southeast of Port Aden, Yemen. Four speedboats were in close proximity of the vessel. Two of the speedboats were detected on the port side and two speedboats on the starboard side. The master sounded the general alarm and briefed the crew on anti-piracy precautions. Each speedboat was manned by two persons. No weapons were observed. However, the master noticed concealed items within the boat. At 0615 UTC, the master altered its course to the starboard side. The master observed the speedboats achieve a
speed of over 20kts, but were having difficulty in the wind conditions. At 0620 UTC, the two speedboats on the starboard side crossed the ship’s bow and attempted to approach the vessel’s port side. The master altered its course to the starboard side in order to make the port side under swell direction. The master alerted the Company Security Officer in Dubai, UAE, and announced the speedboats position via VHF ch. 16. At 0635 UTC, the vessel started to gain distance from the four speedboats. At 0635 UTC, Marshall Islands Duty Officer was advised about the situation via telephone by the Ship Manager in Dubai. At 0640 UTC, the four speed boats altered its course to the port side, shore direction. Master reported again the position of the
speed boats via VHF Ch.16. Fortunately, the master was able to maneuver the vessel to take evasive action, thereby successfully mitigating the threat from the four speed boats, which headed back towards the general vicinity of the Yemen coast (Operators, UKMTO, IMB).
22. SRI LANKA: Merchant vessel (INVINCIBLE) sank by LTTE 10 May 08 at 0230 local time, while at anchorage at the Ashroff Jetty at the eastern coastal town of Trincomalee. The LTTE said their Sea Tigers underwater naval commandos launched a pre-dawn underwater demolition-type attack on the Sri Lankan Navy’s boat while it was being loaded with explosives. The boat was headed for troops operating in the island’s north. No injuries were reported. On 11 May 08, navy divers reportedly recovered body parts of the suspected LTTE suicide cadres
from where the boat was sunk. The navy believes the suicide cadres had used a suicide jacket for the blast as only the lower part of the body was recovered (LM: 7days.com, nation.lk, Daily Mirror). (see also here)
Weekly ICC CCS Piracy Report (to 19 May 08) here. Highlights:
15.05.2008: 0900 UTC: 13:02.6N-048:50.9E: Gulf of Aden.
Four suspicious speedboats chased a container ship. Vessel increased speed and took evasive manoeuvres. Thirty minutes later, the boats aborted the attempt.
13.05.2008: 1400 LT: Fairway Buoy area, River States: Nigeria.
A supply vessel, with 11 crew, was boarded and hijacked while underway. The hijackers have demanded a ransom for the safe release of crew and vessel.

17.05.2008: 09:50 LT: Posn: 02:13.19N – 046:49.38E, Off Somalia.
Pirates boarded and hijacked a general cargo ship underway. Ship was on passage to Mogadishu, Somalia. (see also here and here)

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