Maritime Crime and Piracy Update: No News (Almost) is Good News

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December 22, 2011

Incidents by Region – DEC 15 – 21


ARABIAN SEA: Crude Oil Tanker (NORDIC APOLLO) was fired upon by pirates on 19 December at 0840 UTC while underway in position 12:36N–047:02E, approximately 110 nm southeast of Aden, Yemen. (Operator)


GULF OF ADEN: Continuous easterly winds over the past week have increased seas in the western GOA within the past few days. Expect moderate winds and elevated seas (ENE 15 – 20, 4 – 6 feet in western GOA, 3 – 5 feet in eastern GOA) to persist through the next 72 hours. EXTENDED FORECAST: Winds slowly decrease through forecast period. Light to moderate conditions (ENE 12 – 16, 3 – 5 feet) will exist by 23 Dec in the region, decreasing further (E 10 – 15, 2 – 4 feet) by 26 Dec.

SOMALI COAST: NE monsoonal flow off the Somali coast continues to produce moderate to severe impacts in the area. Expect high winds and seas (NNE 20 – 25, 7 – 9 feet) through the next 72 hours. EXTENDED FORECAST: Short durations of moderate winds and seas (NE 15 – 20, 5 – 7 feet) will exist in the region by 25 Dec, although overall conditions (NE 22 – 26, 7 – 9 feet) will continue to severely impact small boat operations through 28 Dec.

NORTH ARABIAN SEA: Increased winds (NE 18 – 22) off the Pakistani and Iranian coasts over the past few days have provided some increased seas (4 – 6 feet) in the North Arabian Sea. These conditions will slowly decrease, reaching a minimum (NE 12 – 16, 2 – 4 feet) by 25 Dec. EXTENDED FORECAST: Minimal conditions reached on 25 Dec (NE 12 – 16, 2 – 4 feet) will persist within the NAS through 28 Dec, providing little to no impacts to small boat operations.

INDIAN OCEAN: Area storms continue to provide for the main cause of wind flow and sea states off the Tanzanian and Kenyan coasts. Residual swell waves from the Somali Basin region will provide some impacts, but overall conditions will remain moderate (Variable 10 – 15 knots, 3 – 5 feet) through the next 72 hours. Sheltering effects of Madagascar continue to enhance the light winds and seas (Variable 5 – 10, 0 – 2 feet) in the Mozambique Channel. Expect occasional transiting storms to increase winds and seas slightly (SW 12 – 16, 1 – 3 feet) by 24 Dec, although these should produce only minimal impacts to small boat operations. EXTENDED FORECAST: Small boat operations off the Tanzanian and Kenyan coasts will continue to be only light to moderately impacted (NW 10 – 15, 3 – 5 feet) through 28 Dec. Winds and seas in the Mozambique Channel will remain minimal (SE 5 – 10, 1 – 3 feet) through forecast period.

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, continuing south off the northern Kenya coastline. This NE to SW current is moving at speeds in excess of 3.5 knots.

Likelihood of Pirate Activity (Graphic courtesy of the Naval Oceanographic Office Warfighting Support Center)


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