Sunday, December 18, 2011

Somali Pirates: Slowed by Weather, Naval Forces

Somali pirates are in a slowdown, caused in part by weather and by "disruption" by naval forces.

TCG Gediz
First, the naval side, a Turkish warship did its job, as reported at CTF-151 SHIP TCG GEDIZ DISRUPTS SUSPECTED PIRATE MOTHER SHIP AND SKIFF
Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) warship TCG GEDIZ of the Republic of Turkey, assigned to CMF’s counter-piracy mission, Combined Task Force 151 disrupted a suspected pirate mother ship and a pirate skiff in the southern Somali Basin.

The task force received a report of an attack on the merchant vessel MV JEANNE as it transited international waters off the coast of the Somalia/Kenya border. CTF 151 Commander, Rear Admiral Kaleem Shaukat, Pakistan Navy tasked GEDIZ, patrolling in the area, to search for the skiff that had participated in the attack.

GEDIZ located a suspected mother ship for the pirate action group operating in this area, a group which included the skiff responsible for the earlier attack on MV JEANNE, Nov 21. This vessel was also suspected of involvement in two other recent attacks in this operating area. GEDIZ’s boarding team conducted a search of the vessel, and destroyed all equipment associated with piracy, including multiple grappling hooks and a boarding ladder.

GEDIZ identified the suspected pirate skiff and witnessed the crew toss multiple items overboard, including grappling hooks and what appeared to be weapons. When GEDIZ was in close enough proximity for a more thorough examination of the skiff, they assessed that it presented no further threat and that all materiel involved in possible acts of piracy had been discarded.
This leads into the NATO Shipping Center weekly assessment:
During the reporting period of 8 to 14 December 2011 the piracy activity level was less than the previous reporting period. Suspicious activity was seen in the North Arabian Sea and a mothership was located off the coast of central Somalia, which was later disrupted by Naval Counter Piracy forces.

The NE monsoon is fully established, and this is likely a contributing factor to the decrease in piracy activity in the Greater Somali Basin.

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