Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Weekly Piracy Report from ICC CCS (to 8 Sep 08)

The weekly Piracy Report from ICC Commercial Crime Services (to 8 Sep 08) can be found here. The map is an image of a portion of the live map available at the ICC CCS site. Highlights:
-07.09.2008: 1020UTC: Posn: 12:46N - 045:54E: Gulf of Aden. Pirates, in two speedboats, chased a bulk carrier underway. Owners contacted the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) for assistance. Duty officer at the PRC immediately informed the authorities to render necessary assistance and relayed the same to the master. Master advised to enforce anti piracy measures to delay / prevent boarding. The authorities advised the Centre that every effort was being made to send assistance to the vessel. At 1343, UTC master reported that pirate boats had stopped chasing and that vessel was continuing passage to destination port.

-06.09.2008: 0950 UTC: Posn: 12:54.9N – 047:05.1E: Gulf of Aden. A blue-hulled vessel was spotted at a range of 6 nm by a tanker underway. A small speed craft was released from the mother vessel and it started approaching the tanker. Alarm raised, speed increased, coalition warship contacted. Speedboat, with five persons armed with machine guns opened fire. When coalition warship and navy helicopter arrived, speedboat aborted attack and moved towards mother vessel. Tanker sustained damages. No injuries to crew. Tanker continued passage.

-06.09.2008: 0707 UTC: Posn: 12:57.8N - 047:01.6E, Gulf of Aden.About six pirates armed with RPG in a white speedboat approached a LPG tanker underway. Alarm raised, foghorn sounded, crew mustered and chief officer directed fire hose towards the boat. The pirates signalled to reduce speed and pointed RPG at the chief officer, who dropped the fire hose and entered the accommodation. Master increased ship speed to maximum and took evasive manoeuvres by giving large helm orders. This resulted in the speedboat rolling heavily, causing four pirates to fall overboard. The speedboat recovered the pirates and resumed chasing the tanker again. Mayday broadcast made and SSAS activated. UKMTO Dubai and IMB Piracy Reporting Centre informed. The Centre immediately informed the coalition forces. The speedboat came close to the tanker, but later gave up the chase and met up with a pirate mother vessel that was a raft with an orange cover. A passing ship informed that coalition warships were proceeding for assistance and were calling the tanker on VHF.

-05.09.2008: 0510 UTC: Posn: 12:57.5N - 047:04.0E, Gulf of Aden. A general cargo ship underway, noticed a blue coloured tug suspected to be a pirate mother vessel, towing a small boat. The small boat suddenly proceeded at high speed and approached the ship. D/O raised alarm and crew mustered. Four pirates, armed with RPG and automatic weapons fired at the ship in an attempt to board. Master increased speed and took evasive manoeuvres. Crew activated fire hoses and threw hard objects to hit the pirates. Pirates kept on firing at the ship and at 0600 UTC the pirates gave up the attempt and fled.

03.09.2008: 0930 LT: Posn: 14:27N - 049:40E, Off Al Mukalla, Yemeni coast, Gulf of Aden.
12 pirates, armed with automatic guns and RPG in a small high-speed craft attacked, boarded and hijacked a ship along with her 25 crewmembers. They stole crew personal belongings and all cash onboard. Further details are awaited.

-03.09.2008: 1450 UTC: Posn: 13:36.8N - 049:13.16E: Gulf of Aden. Two small boats attempted to board a bulk carrier underway. Vessel increased speed and altered course to prevent boarding. The boats aborted attempt to board and moved away. A coalition warship arrived at location.

-02.09.2008: 1853 UTC: Posn: 11:48.42N - 050:32.00E, Gulf of Aden. A yacht enroute from Cocos (Keeling) islands to Aden, Yemen has been attacked and hijacked by pirates. Further details are awaited.
-23.06.2008: off Somali coast, Somalia.
Pirates attacked and hijacked a yacht underway. They kidnapped its three crew members and held them on land for ransom. It is believed a ransom was paid for the safe release of the crew. All three crewmembers arrived safely in their respective countries. The yacht was believed to have been abandoned. A full report is awaited from the authorities.
Probably ought to be coupled with the last ONI World Wide Threat to Shipping Report (to 27 Aug 08) which can be found here. Highlights:
1. UNITED STATES/GULF OF ADEN: The US Naval Central Command has ordered
Coalition naval forces to establish a “Maritime Security Patrol Area” (MSPA) in the Gulf of Aden to protect merchant shipping, per 26 Aug 08 reporting. Western coalition warships and aircrafts will conduct patrols to boost security in the Gulf of Aden, the US Navy said. “The idea is to counter and deter destabilizing activity in the area,” Lieutenant Stephanie Murdock, spokeswoman for the US Fifth Fleet, had stated on 22 Aug 08. “It's part of the plan to help with regional security in the area….The coalition patrols will be commanded by Canada,” Murdock said. She couldn't give details on the number of ships involved or their exact locations for
security reasons. The aim is to “allow merchant mariners to pass through the control area with no issues,” she said. “There's piracy but there's also drug smuggling and people smuggling.” Responding to the widespread concern in the shipping sector, US Naval Forces Central Command issued a statement on 24 Aug 08, that the establishment MSPA is in immediate effect. “The MSPA is being established in support of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) ongoing efforts,” the statement continued. “Coalition actions will give the IMO time to work
international preventative efforts that will ultimately lead to a long-term solution. While coalition warships have conducted routine operations in the area in the past, the establishment of the MSPA will focus the efforts to counter destabilizing activities in the region and improve security while long-term initiatives mature" (Bloomberg, LL, LM: Maritime Global Net).
2. GULF OF ADEN: UKMTO releases flash security alert for the Gulf of Aden, 21 Aug 08. There is extremely high activity in the Gulf of Aden over the past few days with three vessels have been taken and two attacked. Two vessels have been taken this morning on 21 Aug 08. It is strongly advised that vessels transit the region maintaining 35-40NM off the Yemen coast and keep clear of the area bounded by 12:40N-046:40E south of the Somali Coast and from 14:30N-53:00E south to Socotra (remaining at the very least 50nm from the island). It must be pointed
out though the last incident with the Chemical Tanker (IRENE) has taken place north of the northern attack line and UKMTO is monitoring this closely. CTF 150 continues to patrol its region (UKMTO).
3. GULF OF ADEN: IMB issues piracy warning to vessels in the Gulf of Aden, 19 Aug 08. The IMB has issued a fresh piracy warning to all vessels sailing in the Gulf of Aden. In addition to the most recent activity, there have been four further hijackings since the beginning of June. Three additional vessels have also been fired upon since that time. IMB Director Pottengal Mukundan stated, “The situation in this region is grave. We are seeing at least one attack every couple of weeks. These pirates are not afraid to use significant firepower in attempts to bring vessels under their control. Unless further action is taken, seafarers remain in serious danger whilst navigating the GOA. In all reported instances, vessels have been approached by
speedboats containing men armed with machine guns and RPG launchers. In their attempts to slow down and board the vessels, the pirates have opened fire against the unarmed merchant ships. It is understood that coalition warships have intervened and helped prevent two of the attacks. This is in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1816 (2008) that allows states cooperating with Somalia to enter its territorial waters in order to repress acts of piracy and
armed robber “by all necessary means”. Mr. Mukundan continued, “Whilst the intervention of coalition navies has helped in isolated cases, it is by no means a long-term solution. It is clear that the threat or presence of coalition navies has done little to stem the tide of attacks in this region.” The IMB advises that Master maintain strict 24-hour piracy watches and be especially wary of any approaching smaller crafts. The IMB urges the reporting of all actual or attempted
attacks, as well as any suspicious vessel movements, to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre. ONI COMMENT: Shortly after this reporting was released, the (BUNGA MELATI DUA) was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden. Three more vessels, including the (IRENE) were hijacked on 21 Aug 08 in the eastern Gulf of Aden as well (IMB, ONI).
1. SOMALIA: Tug (YENAGOA OCEAN) hijacked 4 Aug 08, 0300 local time, near
Bosasso. Pirates are reportedly demanding 1 million USD. The vessel has a crew of nine Nigerians. As of 25 Aug 08, it has been reported that the (YENAGOA OCEAN) is currently being used as a mother-ship to support pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden (Operator, IMB, LM: thisday.com, UKMTO).
2. GULF OF ADEN: Cargo vessel reported suspicious approach 26 Aug 08 at 1040 local time/0740 UTC while underway in position 13:30N-048:34E, 87NM southwest of Al Mukalla, Yemen. While transiting the Gulf of Aden the vessel reported a number of suspicious boats to a Coalition Warship in the area. The vessel kept monitoring the suspicious boats and noticed two suspicious boats at the vessels port quarter about two miles off. The vessel increased its speed to move away from the suspicious boats (IMB, Operator).
3. GULF OF ADEN: Vessel reported suspicious approach 26 Aug 08 while underway near Aden, Yemen. A vessel heard an announcement on VHF Ch. 16 that another near by vessel stated that it had spotted three speedboats traveling at 22kts and getting off a reported mother-ship. The position of the mother-ship was 12:28N-044:44E, 25NM southwest of Aden, Yemen (IMB).
4. GULF OF ADEN: Cargo vessel reported suspicious approach 24 Aug 08 at 0655 local time while underway in position 12:49N-050:30E, 52NM north northwest of Caluula, Somalia. The vessel reported a suspicious craft approaching. The suspicious craft’s speed was between 1.5 and 4.7kts with a course of approximately 153 degrees. The vessel altered its course to gain distance from the suspicious craft. The silhouette of the vessel was described as a tug boat. The
suspicious craft was last located at 0823 local time while in position 12:53.8N-050:36.3E (UKMTO, IMB).
5. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk cargo vessel fired upon 23 Aug 08 at 1605 local time, while underway in position 14:11.3N–050:20.3E, 68NM southeast of Al Mukalla, Yemen. The master of the vessel reported that it had been fired upon and there were shots on the bridge. The master requested immediate assistance from the coalition authorities. An aircraft arrived at the scene and the piracy tug boat (possibly the mother-ship) and the speedboats stopped firing. The ship is reportedly safe. Reported description confirms that the pirate vessel being used is the
6. GULF OF ADEN: Cargo vessel fired upon 23 Aug 08 at 1708 local time/1008 UTC, while underway in position 14:16N–050:19.40E, 65NM southeast of Al Mukalla, Yemen. The master reported the vessel had been fired upon. The master raised the alarm, increased its speed, took evasive maneuvers and fired rocket flares. At 1052 UTC, the speedboats reportedly stopped firing and moved away. The speedboats were spotted with a possible mother-ship about 3NM away from the vessel (IMB, Operator).
7. GULF OF ADEN: Vessel reported suspicious approach 23 Aug 08 at 0630 UTC while underway in position 13:16.9N-042:55.3E, 53NM north northwest of Caluula, Somalia. A white colored speedboat with five persons onboard approached the vessel. The alarm was raised; the crew mustered and activated the fire hoses. The suspicious craft approached a second time and followed the ship for ten minutes before finally moving away (IMB).
8. GULF OF ADEN: Cargo ship (BBC TRINIDAD) hijacked 21 Aug 08 at 0945 UTC
while underway in position 12:57.9N- 048:56.7E, 107NM south of Al Mukalla, Yemen. The vessel was attacked by two fast crafts. An additional orange mother-ship was spotted during the hijacking. The vessel reportedly has 13 crewmembers onboard (one Slovak, three Russians and nine Filipinos) and is currently anchored of Eyl. Owners are unable to provide further information, however, they informed that the crew and vessel are safe (Operator, IMB, LM: Caribbean New News).
9. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk cargo reportedly attacked 21 Aug 08 at 0920 local time/0620 UTC, while underway in position 13:15.8N-048:52.8E, approximately 50NM off the Yemen coast. The vessel detected two boats. The first boat was of dark grey without a superstructure and several people on board, and the second boat (a little further away from the first boat) white in color. Both of them were detected from five to ten degrees off the port side at a radar distance of 1.5 miles. The first boat crossed the vessel’s bow from port to starboard. The vessel took evasive maneuvers, altering to the starboard side. The dark grey boat was reportedly attempting to follow the vessel. The speed of the suspected boat was 7.5kts. Then the vessel inverted the course to 90 degrees for 15 minutes and the suspected boat moved away. The vessel then altered its course to 180 degrees for 30 minutes. At 1020 local time the vessel resumed its initial course of 257 degrees and proceeded with a speed of 15 kts following another vessel at a distance of 8.5 miles from the bow. ONI COMMENT: It cannot be confirmed if this vessel was fired upon (Operator, IMB, ONI).
10. GULF OF ADEN: Chemical tanker (IRENE) hijacked 21 Aug 08 at 0358 UTC, while underway in position 14:26.42N–049:56.46E, 45NM east of Al Mukalla, Yemen. The vessel is transporting approximately 10,000 mt of chemical / flammable cargo. There are 19 crewmembers onboard, two Russians, one Croatian, and 16 Filipinos (Operator, IMB, REUTERS).
11. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk cargo hijacked 21 Aug 08 at 0223 UTC, while underway in
position 13:49.3N–050:23.9E, approximately 82NM southeast of Al Mukalla, Yemen. The
vessel was fired upon and boarded, no further information. It is reported that there are 18-20 pirates onboard the vessel (Operator, IMB).
12. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk cargo reported suspicious approach 20 Aug 08 while underway in position 13:37N-050:11E, 79NM southeast of Al Mukalla, Yemen (UKMTO).
13. GULF OF ADEN: Chemical tanker (BUNGA MELATI DUA) hijacked 19 Aug 08, 1730
local time while underway in position 12:45.2N–047:57.7E, 123NM southwest of Mukulla, Yemen. There are 39 crewmembers onboard the vessel, traveling from Indonesia to Rotterdam with a cargo of crude palm oil. No direct contact has been made with the captain of the ship. According to local media reports, a Filipino crewmember was reportedly killed during the hijacking. The event was reported to be an “accident”. All remaining crewmembers are reportedly safe and the vessel is currently anchored at Eyl. Negotiations are ongoing (Operator, IMB, BBC, AP, UKMTO).
14. GULF OF ADEN: Cargo vessel (THOR STAR) hijacked 12 Aug 08 at 1418 UTC while underway in position 13:07.35N-050:10.75E, 75NM northwest of Caluula. A Yemeni naval official reportedly stated that the ship sent out a distress signal after coming under heavy fire from armed pirates about 100 miles off the Yemen coast. The ship is believed to have been en route from Southeast Asia with a cargo of timber. The vessel has a crew of 28 Thai nationals (Operator, UKMTO, IMB, TW).
15. GULF OF ADEN: Bulk carrier (GEM OF KILAKARAI) fired upon 8 Aug 08 at 0515 UTC (Operator) 0345 UTC (IMB) while underway in position 13:11N–049:55E, 85NM northwest of Caluula. Pirates in two white speedboats, armed with guns and rocket propelled grenade launchers chased and fired small arms. They fired an RPG at the vessel; however, the RPG did not detonate. The master contacted the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre for assistance. The USS PELELIU was reportedly ten miles away when the attack occurred and responded by sending three helicopters to the scene. Upon seeing the warship, the pirate boats moved away. The warship sent a team to dispose of the RPG found on the bridge wing. No reported injuries (Operator, UKMTO, IMB, LM: cargonewsasia.com, military.com).

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