NATO Shipping Centre’s Somalia Piracy Update

Somalia Piracy Update for December 12, 2008 is provided by NATO Shipping Centre

2 December – a cluster of possibly co-ordinated approaches made to 5 merchant vessels in Gulf of Aden, successfully repelled by Italian destroyer, Luigi Durand de la Penne
MV CENTAURI was released 27 November (ransom payment amount not known)
MV MAERSK REGENSBURG was attacked approximately 450n miles east of Dar es Salaam (350nm west of Seychelles). Two pirate skiffs made two attempts to board the vessel and used small arms and 3x RPGs in the attack causing small fire on board. This is the most southerly incidence of piracy yet reported.
The last successful hijack was of MV BISCAGLIA 28 Nov
MV CAPTAIN STEFANOS was released 7 December; tbe vessel is now on route to Suez (ransom payment amount not known).
13 vessels remain hijacked comprising 11 merchant ships 1 fishing vessel and tug boat Yenegoa Ocean


The current slide displays last known position of hijacked vessels.

Over 200 merchant seamen are still held by pirates. The use of mother-ships seems to be on the rise, and potentially, vessels are hijacked with the sole intention of using them as such.

In short, the trends in latest piracy incidents are as follows:

  • Targeting larger cargo / oil / gas / chemical tankers
  • Approaches / attacks conducted from 2-3 small speedboats with 3-5 armed persons each. The number of boats involved in each incident seems to be increasing.

Given the significant increase in piracy (and piracy related) incidents in the Gulf of Aden, the NATO Shipping Centre asks any ship or ship owner to report to us with any details of (perceived) suspicious activity (e.g. ships on radar shadowing their movements, changing course to intercept, changing speed to match or intercept)

  • course and speed of vessel if available
  • positions and date/time
  • identity or description of suspicious vessel(s)
  • photograph if available

Please report any such activity to the NATO Shipping Centre’s (NSC) free call centre: +44 (0)1923 956574, or by fax: +44 (0)1923 956575, or E-mail: [email protected]