Summary (source: ONI Maritime OPINTEL Report)
INDIAN OCEAN: Chemical tanker (LIQUID CRYSTAL) was boarded 21 Mar at 1202 UTC while underway in position 17:14N – 063:18E, approximately 525NM east of Salalah, Oman. The vessel was attacked by a white skiff with five armed men onboard, accompanied by a mother ship. The crew locked themselves in the engine room. The pirates cut razor wire on the starboard side and came on the bridge deck with a lifeboat ladder starboard side. They broke glass on the starboard side of the wheelhouse and broke the protecting bar. After 3.5 hrs in the engine room, the crew was released. A search was conducted and no pirates were found onboard. (IMB)
INDIAN OCEAN: Vessel (MSC EVA) was fired upon 23 Mar at 1451 UTC, while underway in position 09:00N – 066:27E, approximately 684NM west of Cochin, India. Pirates in two skiffs fired upon the vessel causing damage to the master and chief officer’s cabin, but no casualties were reported. (UKMTO, Commercial Sources)
GULF OF ADEN: Bulk carrier (AVOCET) was fired upon 22 Mar at 1401 UTC while underway in position 13:10N – 049:06E, approximately 93NM south of Al Mukalla, Yemen. The vessel was attacked by one skiff from a pirate attack group (PAG) but evaded the hijack attempt. (Operator)
INDIAN OCEAN: Crude oil tanker (AL-NOUF) was fired upon 21 Mar at 0846 UTC while underway in position 03:47N – 053:33E, approximately 540NM east of Mogadishu, Somalia. A pirate attack group consisting of one mother ship, one skiff with four pirates, and one skiff with ten pirates fired upon the vessel with small arms and RPG. The master, two crew, and the unarmed security team remained on the bridge while all the other crewmembers retreated into the citadel. Due to the continuous firing two crew sustained injuries of which one was very serious. The vessel sustained damages as well, however the hijacking attempt was evaded. (IMB)
Weather conditions this week are expected to be mild and conducive to small boat operations throughout the piracy operating area, to include the southern Indian Ocean and Mozambique Channel. Mariners are advised the Arabian Sea, Somali Basin, Gulf of Aden, and Mozambique Channel are high risk areas for piracy. When transiting the region, mariners are encouraged to contact UKMTO and all appropriate authorities.