Summary of Worldwide Crime and Piracy, week of 22 June 2011 (Source: ONI)
GULF OF GUINEA:
- A chemical tanker was hijacked 26 June at 0245 UTC off of Cotonou, Benin. Ten robbers boarded the vessel, threatened and robbed the crew, damaged the vessel’s equipment, and ordered the crew to sail to Lagos or Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The master was shot in the leg and some crew members were physically assaulted. The robbers left the tanker and the vessel transited to Cotonou. (Commercial Sources)
- A tanker was robbed 24 June at 0150 UTC while anchored in position 06:15.9N – 002:33.4E, eight NM away from the fairway buoy at the Cotonou anchorage, Benin. Ten robbers armed with knives and guns using a speedboat approached the vessel, the duty officer raised the alarm, activated the ship security alert system (SSAS), and called port control, where they did not receive a response. Four robbers boarded the vessel via the STS fenders, entered the bridge, took the Master to his cabin, and stole ship personal belongings and cash. The duty officer was taken to his cabin and the other crew cabins, and the crew’s personal belongings were stolen. The crew was threatened and some of the crew was beaten. All the robbers left the tanker by 0230 UTC. (IMB)
- A chemical tanker was hijacked 24 June at 0024 UTC while drifting in position 06:09.5N – 002:32E, approximately 12NM southeast of Cotonou, Benin. Twelve armed pirates boarded the vessel while it was preparing for ship-to-ship (STS) operations. The pirates took the crewmembers hostage, hijacked the vessel, and released it after 17 hours. (IMB)
- A vessel was robbed 23 June at 2330 UTC while in position 06:08.59N – 002:28.26E, approximately 11NM southeast of Cotonou, Benin. Four robbers using a speedboat boarded the vessel. The boarding was less complicated because the razor wire was removed from the vessel for STS operations. The robbers captured the second engineer before he reached the citadel with the rest of the crew. Because of this, the Master presented himself to the robbers. The robbers hit both of them and stole the ship’s and crew’s cash and personal belongings. Port control did not respond after the vessel attempted to contact it. (IMB)
- A refrigerated cargo vessel was robbed 23 June at 0431 UTC while anchored in position 05:52S – 013: 24.72E in the Matadi anchorage, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Robbers boarded the vessel three times between 0400 and 0640 UTC and stole ship stores. The duty crew raised the alarm each time, which resulted in the robbers escaping in a boat. Port authority did not respond when called on VHF. (IMB)
- Bulk carrier (SAGAR RATAN) experienced an attempted boarding 26 June at 0910 UTC while underway in position 21:45N – 060:31E, approximately 72NM southeast of Sur, Oman. Two skiffs with five pirates each chased the vessel. The pirates fired RPGs and hooked a ladder onto the ship’s rail. Due to evasive maneuvers, razor wire, and a coalition navy response, the pirates aborted the attack. The mothership that conducted the attack was the pirated fishing vessel SHUIH FU NO. 1. (IMB, UKMTO, Operator)
- A bulk carrier was robbed 22 June at 1940 UTC while anchored in position 07:11.5S – 112:43.5E in the Surabaya anchorage, Indonesia. Robbers boarded the vessel from the stern when the duty crew was doing their routine rounds forward. The robbers stole the ship’s stores and escaped. The duty crew reached the stern and found the ship’s stores missing and raised the alarm. (IMB)
Weather and Piracy Forecast for 30 JUN – 2 JUL 2011
GULF OF ADEN:
Moderate sea heights within the Gulf of Aden are expected through the next 72 hours. Increased seas will dominate region, ranging from 4 – 6 feet. Expect continuous winds from the southwest of 20 – 25 knots with higher gusts through 2 July. Winds and moderate sea heights may prove to hinder piracy/small boat operations.
EXTENDED FORECAST: Expect winds to decrease slightly within the Gulf of Aden by 3 July with light to moderate sea heights by 4 July.
Sustained southwest winds of 25 – 30 knots with higher gusts will remain over the Somali Basin through the next 72 hours. Expect conditions to not be conducive for small boat operations from the central Somalia coast northeast to the Omani coast and extending through the North Arabian Sea and east to Pakistan and northwestern India, as sea heights range from 9 – 15 feet.
EXTENDED FORECAST: Southwest winds will continue through 6 July, with severe seas remaining through the region. These continued conditions will hinder/prevent small boat/piracy operations. More conducive conditions for piracy operations exist within the waters around the Maldives, the waters off of southwestern India, and coastal waters off Kenya and Tanzania. The central Indian Ocean along the equator shows moderate sea heights and winds which may prove to be an operating area as well.
SURFACE CURRENTS: Currents off the Somalia coast are variable with most areas having average speeds of less than 2 knots. Areas of increased speeds along the coast up to 5.3 knots occur from 1S to 10N. Currents within the Gulf of Aden are variable with most areas having speeds of 1.5 knots or less. Coastal waters off northeastern Somalia, southeastern Yemen, southwestern Oman, and just to the southeast of the Bab al Mandeb have increased current speeds up to 2.9 knots.