Summary of Maritime Crime and Piracy for Period October 20 – 26, 2011. Summaries provided by ONI.
INDIAN OCEAN-EAST AFRICA
INDIAN OCEAN: Cargo ship (HR CONSTELLATION) fired upon by pirates in two skiffs on 20 October while approximately 275 nm northeast of Port Victoria, Seychelles. One of the two skiffs approached to within 50-100 meters of the vessel. The armed security team on board the cargo ship fired warning shots and the skiff broke pursuit with the pirates returning fire. The crew had mustered in the safe room while the Master, chief mate, and security team remained on the bridge. The Master reported that the vessel had implemented version 4 Best Management Practices, reported to UKMTO, and had conducted weekly counter-piracy drills. The master later reported the vessel safe. (UKMTO, Owner)
INDONESIA: Two attempted boardings of chemical tanker at anchor 26 October at 0130 near position 01:42.2N – 101:29.3E, Dumai Inner Anchorage. Robbers used folded rods with a hook to climb. Alert duty watchman sighted the robbers and informed bridge. Bridge officer raised alarm and mustered crew. Seeing crew alertness the robbers aborted the attempt and moved away. 30 minutes another boat with five robbers approached the vessel from astern and attempted to board the vessel. Once again alert watchkeeping ensured the robbers aborted the attempt. Nothing stolen. (IMB)
SINGAPORE: Pirates in two boats approached and followed a barge towed by a tug near position 01:15.5N – 104:02.0E on 25 October. The crew directed searchlights towards the barge but could not detect the small boats. Master contacted other vessels including a security vessel in their convoy. Later a Singapore navy warship contacted and alerted the tugs Master that there are two small boats hiding behind his barge. Master altered course and spotted the two pirate boats resulting in the boats moving away. At 0200 LT, small boats once agan approached the barge. The navy warship spotted the boats and alerted the Master. Even with the presence of the warship the pirates boarded the barge. Upon inspection properties and stores of the barge were found stolen. (IMB)
FORECAST for 27 OCT – 02 NOV 2011
GULF OF ADEN: Multiple bands of thunderstorms from India have pushed across the Indian Ocean and into the Somali mainland, increasing local winds in the GOA. Expect east-northeast winds at 14 – 18 knots through the next 48 hours decreasing east 8 – 12 knots by 29 October with 3 – 5 foot seas. EXTENDED FORECAST: Winds speeds decrease further by 30 October (variable 5 – 10). Expect this to continue through end of forecast. Wave heights will remain light to moderate as transiting swell waves from the Arabian Sea impact the region.
SOMALI COAST: Light to moderate winds from the northeast at 10 – 15 knots will influence conditions off the Somali coast. A small area of 5 – 7 foot seas off the central coast will diminish by 28 October and 2 – 4 foot seas will continue for entire coastline through next 72 hours. EXTENDED FORECAST: Shifting winds will decrease by 30 October. Expect SW winds at 8 – 12 knots to continue through end of forecast. Localized storms in the Somali Basin will cause small regions of increased seas through remainder of forecast period. Expect these localized areas of 4 – 6 feet to persist around the central and northern portions of the Somali coastline.
NORTH ARABIAN SEA: Moderate winds (15 – 20 knots) from the northeast continue to influence conditions within the North Arabian Sea. These winds will shift direction and increase as a storm system moves off the Indian coast. Expect east-southeast winds at 25 – 30 knots with higher gusts by 29 October. Seas will slowly build from the increased winds. Localized heights of 5 – 7 feet by 30 October will push westward across the Arabian Sea. EXTENDED FORECAST: Expect winds to slowly decrease and shift direction as the storm system dissipates. Expect 12 – 16 knots from the southeast by 31 October with 3 – 5 foot seas. A separate storm system moves off the southern Indian coast by 01 November and transits westward. Computer estimations of 10 foot seas are forecasted in the central Arabian Sea through 02 November.
INDIAN OCEAN: East-southeast winds at 5 – 10 knots dominate conditions off the Kenya and Tanzania coasts and into the Mozambique Channel. Speeds increase by 29 October off the northern tip of Madagascar. Expect minimal sea heights in these regions through next 72 hours. EXTENDED FORECAST: East-southeast winds of 18 – 22 knots will continue in the open waters off the Tanzania and Kenya coastlines, near the Comoros Islands. Sea heights will follow the increasing winds. Expect heights to range from 5 – 7 feet by 31 October and continue through forecast period. The Mozambique Channel will not be impacted through remainder of forecast.
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. Some smaller areas in the open waters of the Indian Ocean and off the coast of Somalia show increased speeds up to 3 knots.