Pirates Attack Two Vessels in the Gulf of Aden

Mike Schuler
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December 9, 2013

The International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Center reports of two pirate attacks Monday on two merchant vessels within just a few miles of each other in the Gulf of Aden.

In the first attack, IMB reports that five pirates aboard a skiff approached and fired upon an underway tanker in the Gulf of Aden. The Master raised the alarm, activated fire hoses, increased speed and took evasive maneuvers before pirates aborted the attack due to the presence of the shipboard armed security team, the IMB report says.

In the second attack, IMB says that a group of five armed pirates aboard a skiff attacked a bulk carrier while underway in the Gulf of Aden. Again, the Master raised the alarm, activated fire hoses, sounded the ship’s horn, took evasive maneuvers and non-essential crew mustered in the ship’s citadel, the IMB reports. Showing increased boldness, the pirates continued the attack and fired upon the vessel even after the ship’s security team fired warning shots towards the skiff, the report says, and the pirates eventually aborted the attack.

In both instances, a military helicopter arrived on scene and patrolled the area. It is unclear if the pirates in both attacks are part of the same Pirate Action Group.

Although pirate attacks near the Horn of Africa have decreased drastically since peaking in 2011, the two attacks are the latest reminder that pirates are still active in the region. IMB reports thirteen reported incidents, including two hijackings, in the region in 2013.

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