Summaries of worldwide maritime crime developments and incidents that occurred in week ending August 31 – Via Maritime OPINTEL Report
NIGERIA: Passenger ship (MONICA EXPRESS) was boarded 27 August at 0700 UTC while underway off the coast of Nigeria. Pirates released all 150 crew members and passengers, but took the captain hostage. The ship was transiting from Cameroon to Oron, Nigeria. Seven armed pirates boarded the vessel and demanded a monthly security tax from the captain. They seized the captain after he said it had been paid already and released him a few hours later after a ransom was paid. The pirates also robbed the passengers onboard. (Open Sources)
SINGAPORE: Petroleum product tanker (VALIANT) was robbed 26 August at 0225 LT while underway in position 01:25N – 104:29E, approximately 38NM northeast of Singapore. Seven to nine robbers boarded the vessel and left after stealing some shipboard equipment and the crew’s personal belongings. The crew was not injured. When the Singapore Police Coast Guard (PCG) arrived and boarded the vessel the robbers had already left. (ReCaap)
INDONESIA: Tanker was robbed 27 August at 0600 UTC while anchored in position 01:27.6S – 116:48.6E, in the Lawe-Lawe anchorage, Balikpapan. Six to seven robbers with long knives in a motor boat boarded the vessel, took the duty watchman hostage and tied him up, stole ship’s stores and properties, and escaped. Master received no response after attempting to contact port authorities. (IMB)
Piracy and Weather Forecast for 1-7 SEP 2011
GULF OF ADEN:
Western and central portions show minimal seas ranging from 1 – 3 feet, slowly increasing as you transit east. The extreme eastern portion of the GOA still shows light to moderate sea heights (3 – 5 feet). Expect continuous winds from the west-southwest of 18 – 22 knots and higher gusts through the next 72 hours.
EXTENDED FORECAST: Minimal sea heights will continue through 7 Sept throughout most of the GOA. West- southwest winds 15 – 20 knots with higher gusts will continue through 7 Sept. Based on sea heights for the forecast week, expect conditions to be conducive for small boat/piracy operations within most of the GOA through 7 Sept.
SOMALI COAST/NORTH ARABIAN SEA:
The highest sea heights (9 – 13 feet) cover a region from the north-central Somali coast west-northwest into the central Arabian Sea and near the Indian coast. Sea heights notably decrease (5 – 7 feet) within central and southern portions of the Somali Basin, as well as waters off Oman and Pakistan. Sustained southwest winds of 28 – 32 knots with higher gusts will remain over the Somali Basin through the next 72 hours. North Arabian Sea winds range from 18 – 22 knots with higher gusts from the west.
EXTENDED FORECAST: Monsoonal flow continues in the Somali Basin and North Arabian Sea. Expect area sea heights to remain high off the northern Somali coast and into the Arabian Sea. Moderate sea heights will continue around Oman and Pakistan. South-southwest winds 24 – 28 knots (3 Sep/12Z) with higher gusts will continue through 7 Sept in the Somali Basin. Winds in the North Arabian Sea will continue from the west 18 – 22 knots with higher gusts through 7 Sept. Severe winds and sea heights will continue to create conditions non-conducive for small boat/piracy operations through forecast period.
Coastal waters off Kenya as well as waters south of the equator extending east into the Indian Ocean have increased sea heights and will remain moderate through the next 72 hours, with sea heights ranging from 5 – 7 feet. Coastal waters off the Tanzania coast and south to Mozambique are currently moderate. Decreasing winds in the Mozambique Channel will cause sea heights to subside by 3 Sept.
EXTENDED FORECAST: Moderate sea heights off Kenya and northern Tanzania will continue through 7 Sept. Expect minimal seas in the Mozambique Channel as well as the waters around the Maldives. Based on this forecast, these regions as well as the southern portion of the Tanzania coast will prove conducive for piracy operations.
Currents within the Somalia Basin and into the Indian Ocean are variable with most areas having average speeds of less than 2 knots. Areas of increased speeds up to 6.5 knots occur from the 2N to 10N along the Somali coast. Currents within the Gulf of Aden are variable with all areas having speeds of less than 2 knots.
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