Weekly Maritime Crime and Piracy Update – Week of 28 April 2011

Rob Almeida
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May 5, 2011

Weekly Maritime Crime and Piracy Summary (source: Office of Naval Intelligence)


A RoRo was robbed 2 May 2011 at 0740 UTC while anchored inposition 09:58.6N – 083:01.0W at the Puerto Limon anchorage, Costa Rica.  Ten robbers boarded the ship, tied up the crew, kicked them, and stole their personal property.  The crew freed themselves about 20 minutes after the robbers escaped with the stolen items. (IMB)


  • Three crew members were kidnapped off a tug 1 May 2011 at 1700 UTC while anchored in a position 20NM offshore from Bonny Island, Nigeria. Robbers used at least one speedboat to board the vessel.  The robbers destroyed the communications equipment, stole the crew valuables, and seized three Nigerian national crewmembers, to include the Master and First Mate.  The other six crew members were left onboard. (Commercial Sources)
  • Two robbers attempted to board a tanker 29 April at 2255 UTC while at anchor in position 06:06N – 002:37E, approximately 22NM south of Porto Novo, Benin.  Seven armed robbers approached the tanker in a boat.  Two robbers tried to board the tanker from the fenders.  After an alarm was raised, the robbers aborted the attack and traveled toward Lagos, Nigeria. (IMB)


  • Cargo ship (ITAL GLAMOUR) was fired upon by one skiff with six pirates onboard 4 May at 0432 UTC while underway in position 13:50N – 06:554E, approximately 489NM southwest of Belekeri, India.  A wooden mothership launched the skiff.  The pirates fired upon the vessel with an RPG and automatic weapons.  Vessel sustained some damage from the weapons fire. (UKMTO, IMB, Open Sources)
  • Chemical tanker (GEMINI) was hijacked 30 April at 0430 UTC while underway in position 07:01S – 041:22E, 140NM southeast of Zanzibar, Tanzania. Pirates attacked from two skiffs. (IMB, UKMTO)


  • Cargo ship (NAXIHE) was fired upon by one skiff with 3-4 pirates onboard 28 April while underway in position 12:53N – 04820E, approximately 110NM southwest of Al Mukalla, Yemen. (Operator, Open Sources)


  • A barge was robbed 29 April at 1730 UTC while preparing to be anchored in position 01:20N – 104:06E, approximately 14NM east of Singapore.  Pirates boarded the barge while it was being towed by a tug and stole some of the cargo before they escaped. (IMB)


Indian Ocean Piracy Forecast, week of 5 May 2011:


Over the next 72 hours weather conditions will be conducive for small boat activity in the Gulf of Aden with winds at 5–10 knots and associated wave heights of 1–3 feet.


In the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Somalia, weather conditions are conducive to small boat operations. Forecasts indicate wind speeds of 10–15 knots with associated wave heights of 2–4 feet.

Weather conditions are favorable for piracy activity as we continue through the spring transition into the southwest monsoon season (June). Currents off the Somalia coast are variable with speeds up to 1 knot from the Equator to 5N.  Current speeds up to 3 kts may be seen along the coast between 5N and 10N. Winds and seas will continue to increase through the month of May as the SW monsoon sets up, making the weather conditions less favorable to small boat activity.

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