This Saturday, the Volvo Ocean Race will depart Cape Town and venture into the Indian Ocean toward an undisclosed “safe haven”. As you’ll see from the bottom image however, their safe haven options are limited. The following is the Weekly Summary of Worldwide Maritime Crime and Piracy, 1-7 December 2011 (source: ONI)
COLOMBIA: Bulk carrier boarded and robbed on 3 December while anchored in position 03:50N – 077:10W, approximately 7 nm southwest of Buenaventura, Colombia. The robbers boarded unnoticed during heavy rain, stole the ship’s stores, and escaped. The duty crew noticed the loss during rounds at 1000 UTC. (IMB)
EGYPT: Bulk carrier boarded and robbed on 6 December at 0035 UTC while anchored in Position 31:11N – 029:52E, in the inner anchorage of Alexandria. Three robbers armed with knives boarded the vessel, robbed the ship’s stores, and escaped in a motor boat. (IMB)
- Tanker had a boarding attempt on 7 December at 0615 LT while anchored approximately 34 nm south-southwest of Port Harcourt. The armed security team fired upon the pirates as they attempted to board, causing them to abort their attack and flee. (Operator)
- Unknown vessel boarded on 7 December at 0655 LT while off the Nigerian coast near Port Harcourt. (Operator)
EGYPT: Liquefied gas tanker boarded on 26 November at 2048 UTC while at anchor in position 29:46N – 032:35E, approximately 12 nm south of Suez. Alert crew raised the alarm and the robbers jumped over the side with nothing stolen. (Operator)
ARABIAN SEA: Bulk carrier (ATLANTICA) was fired upon by pirates on 4 December at 0915 UTC while underway in position 20:39N – 060:00E, approximately 62 nm east of Kas Hilf, Masirah Island, Oman. The armed security team onboard returned fire, resulting in the pirates aborting their attempt. (IMB, UKMTO)
- Bulk carrier boarded 8 December at 0040 LT while anchored in position 03:42S – 114:26E, approximately 24 nm south-southeast of Bandjermasin. The robbers boarded using a grappling hook, opened the hawse pipe cover, and were discovered by an alert duty cadet who raised the alarm. The robbers escaped through the hawse pipe. (IMB)
- Cement carrier boarded and robbed 6 December at 0515 LT while anchored in position 01:42S – 116:38E, approximately 32 nm south-southwest of Balikpapan. The crew noticed the robbers escaping with a mooring line and discovered that the forecastle store had been broken into. (IMB)
- Tanker boarded, the duty oiler taken hostage, and the vessel robbed 1 December at 2340 LT while anchored in the Dumai Port Anchorage. The robbers stole the ship’s stores, released their hostage, and escaped. (IMB)
Indian Ocean Weather Forecast, 08 – 14 DECEMBER
A. GULF OF ADEN: Moderate winds and light seas (ENE 15 – 20, 2 – 4 feet) exist in the GOA and will continue through the next 72 hours. EXTENDED FORECAST: Expect ENE winds to continue through forecast period. A modest increase in sea heights will occur in the western half of the Gulf of Aden as 3 – 5 foot seas provide moderate impacts to small boat operations by 11 Dec.
B. SOMALI COAST: Continued NE winds over the Somali Basin have increased sea heights from Socotra Island southwest to the Kenyan border. Expect high winds and seas (NE 20 – 25, 6 – 8 feet) to affect small boat operations through the next 72 hours. EXTENDED FORECAST: Winds and seas will remain prominent impacts to the area through 14 Dec as the NE monsoon fully sets in over the region.
C. NORTH ARABIAN SEA: Light to moderate winds and seas (NE 12 – 16, 2 – 4 feet) in the North Arabian Sea will continue through the next 72 hours. EXTENDED FORECAST: A large portion of the NAS will continue to experience little to no impacts through 14 Dec. Expect a region just south of the Gulf of Oman to show increased sea heights (4 – 6 feet) by 13 Dec.
D. INDIAN OCEAN: Residual seas from the Somali Basin will provide moderate impacts (3 – 5 feet) to the Kenyan and Tanzanian waters, while winds in the region vary in direction and remain mainly below 10 knots through the next 72 hours. Expect light winds and seas (ENE 8 – 12, 1 – 3 feet) in the sheltered waters of the Mozambique Channel through 11 Dec. EXTENDED FORECAST: Variable light winds and residual seas from the Somali Basin will continue to provide the only impacts to the Kenyan and Tanzanian waters through 14 Dec. Expect an increase in winds through the Mozambique Channel by 12 Dec to slowly increase seas in the southern portion. Moderate winds and seas (N 15 – 20, 3 – 5 feet) will affect the region by 13 Dec.
E. SURFACE CURRENTS: Currents within the Somalia Basin, Gulf of Aden, and into the Indian Ocean remain variable, with most areas having average speeds of less than 2 knots. An area of increased speed exists along the Somali coast. This localized current measures upwards of 4 knots and is moving in a NE to SW direction.
Ten Day Piracy Small Boat Operations Weather Forecast