Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Somali Pirates: August 2010 Attacks, NATO Warnings and Counter- Piracy

Poor sea conditions have slowed pirate activity in the Gulf of Aden and off the eastern Somali coast for the month of August. In addition, the number of international pirate-hunting naval forces is having an impact.

Multi-national efforts stops pirates, as reported here:
Japanese, EU and NATO forces cooperated on Sunday to intercept pirates who were preparing to attack ships in the Gulf of Aden, the NATO counter-piracy task force said.

A Japanese Maritime Self Defence (JMSDF) aircraft spotted a pirate skiff with seven suspected pirates on board and alerted a helicopter from the Danish warship Esbern Snare under NATO command, which intercepted the skiff.

"Subsequently the suspected pirates threw their weapons overboard and surrendered," a NATO statement, released in London, said.

An Italian helicopter from another vessel under NATO command provided support for the operation.

Crew members from an American warship, the USS Kauffman, also in NATO's counter-piracy operation, boarded the skiff and found a ladder pirates used to board ships "and other pirate-related paraphernalia," the statement added.

NATO August 2010 reports (purple= warning; orange= weapons fired; red = hijacking)
August. 28 2010
WARNING Gulf of Aden
Latitude: 12 17N Longitude: 04459E
Alert number 403 / 2010.
At 1449 UTC a Pirate Action Group consisting of ONE ARMED SKIFF was reported in position 12 17 N 044 59 E.
August. 22 2010
WARNING Gulf of Aden
Latitude: 13 26N Longitude: 049 41E
Alert number 402 / 2010.
At 0417 UTC 22AUG a white skiff with weapons was reported in position 13 26N 049 41E.
August. 19 2010
WARNING, Gulf of Aden
Latitude: 13 46N Longitude: 050 02E
Alert number 401 / 2010.
At 1007 UTC 19AUG a Pirate Action Group consisting of one skiff and one dhow was reported in position 13 46N 050 02E.
18. August 2010
WARNING, Gulf of Aden
Latitude: 13 11 N Longitude: 049 06 E
Alert number 400 / 2010.
At 1453 UTC 18AUG a skiff was reported in position 13 11 N 049 06 E.
17. August 2010
WARNING, Gulf of Aden
Latitude: 12 59N Longitude: 048 15E
Alert number 399 / 2010.
At 0434 UTC 17 AUG one skiff was reported in position 12 59N 048 15E
9. August 2010
WARNING, Gulf of Aden
Latitude: 13 20N Longitude: 049 46E
Alert number 398 / 2010.
At 0513 UTC 1 skiff was reported attempting an approach to a merchant vessel in position 13 20 N 049 46E.


4. August 2010
Latitude: 15 48N Longitude: 041 25E
Alert number 396 / 2010.
At 1445 UTC 04 AUG 10 a merchant vessel was attacked by 5 white skiffs, each with 7 POB, in position 15 48N 041 25E. Weapons were fired.
3. August 2010
WARNING, Pirate Attack, Gulf of Aden / IRTC
Latitude: 12 56N, Longitude: 048 08E
Alert number 395 / 2010.
At 0324 UTC 03 AUG 10 merchant vessel is currently under attack by 1 skiffs in position 12 56N 048 08E. Red hulled skiff, 6 POB, weapons fired.

02 August 2010
Warning, Pirate Attack, Gulf of Aden
Latitude: 13 02N, Longitude: 048 54E
Alert number 394 / 2010
At 0420 UTC 02 AUG 10 a merchant vessel was hijacked in position 13 02N - 048 54E.
The counter-piracy effort is still mired in legal confusion, resulting in sort of pirate "catch and release" program as reported here:
International maritime laws again prevented authorities from prosecuting pirates captured by Danish warship Esbern Snarre over the weekend in the Aden Gulf.

According to Nato’s maritime command, the warship was summoned by a ship sailing under the Panama flag on Saturday, after it reported attacks by pirates.

When the Esbern Snarre and US carrier Winston Churchill arrived at the scene, the Panama-registered ship and a Norwegian ship were both under attack from Somali pirates. A helicopter sent out by the Esbern Snarre fired warning shots and the pirates fled in their boats towards the Somali coast.

Yet despite finding both knives and ammunition shells on board the pirates’ vessels, defence minister Gitte Lillelund Bech told news bureau Ritzau that there was not enough evidence to prosecute the pirates and that they were released. Bech said that neither the American nor Danish forces actually saw the pirates open fire on the two ships.

Nato forces have had a difficult time bringing pirates in the Arabian Sea to trial due to the often conflicting and complex national and maritime laws.
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1 comment:

  1. UltimaRatioRegis10:41 PM

    "Pirate-related paraphernalia"?

    "Pirate Monthly" magazine? Extra eye patches? Parrot food?

    Would love to know your opinion of when someone less enamored of delicacies of protocol or world opinion (Russia, China) are gonna start offering cheap kinetic solutions in the GOA.