Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Somali Pirate Attack Off India?

MSC(HOA) - Fairplay Daily News Story:
Maltese-flagged Melina 1 radioed for help after coming under attack by armed men in skiffs at the weekend, about 200 n-miles west of India's Lakshwadeep islands, said Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarers’ Assistance Programme.

India's navy dispatched a coastguard ship and helicopter to the area, and the attackers fled.

"The modus operandi of the attackers shows that they must be Somali gunmen,” Mwangura told Fairplay today.

Mwangura earlier told Reuters: "The location seems way outside Somali pirate territory, but the unsuccessful attack seems to bear all the hallmarks of Somali pirates: three mother ships, two skiffs."
As someone wise once noted, "Just because they haven't, doesn't mean they can't or won't."   (Note: the map shows a conjectural "attack" spot based on the report above).

And, in fact, they may have already - an extension of range by the pirates should not be surprising - last year they ranged out over 1000 miles to attack a ship ( see here and here) and as seen on the map below there was at least one attack near India in 2009:
More on a reported pirate attack off India in 2009 at Somali Pirates: Indian Merchant Ship Evades Attack - Off India? and Somali Pirates: Update on tanker attacked off India. Map below shows location of 2009 attack.

Again, currents and waves are good for pirates off India this time of year (and none of those nasty foreign warships are patrolling the area - as seen in the quote about the Indian government having to dispatch forces to a part of its territorial waters. Waves (from Oceanweather, Inc.):

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