Weekly Maritime Crime and Piracy Update – week of 31 March 2011

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April 7, 2011

Maritime Crime and Piracy  Summary, week of 31 March 2011 (source: Office of Naval Intelligence)


INDIAN OCEAN-EAST AFRICA:

ARABIAN SEA:

  • Merchant vessel (PACIFIC OPAL) was fired upon 05 April at 0656 UTC while underway in position 15:53N – 059:57E, approximately 381NM northeast of Socotra Island, Yemen.  The pirate attack group consisted of a mothership and two large, white-hulled skiffs.  Each skiff had six to eight pirates aboard.  Fire hoses were initiated and the armed security team onboard fired flares and warning shots. One of the skiffs aborted the attack at that time.  The security team reported five or six rounds of incoming fire within 500 meters of the vessel.  After more warning shots were fired, the second skiff aborted the attack.  Both skiffs were equipped with motors capable of reaching 30 knots.  (Commercial sources, IMB)
  • Bulk carrier (ELENI G) was fired upon by one skiff 03 April at 0205 UTC while underway in position 05:35S – 040:20E, approximately 96NM northeast of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  Six pirates fired RPGs and small arms at the vessel.  The master raised the alarm and engaged in evasive maneuvers. (Commercial sources, IMB)
  • Bulk carrier (ARRILAH-I) was boarded 01 April at 0528 UTC while underway in position 19:17N – 065:45E, approximately 398NM southeast of Sur, Oman.  The vessel was attacked by two skiffs firing small arms fire (each skiff had three pirates).  The crew locked themselves in the citadel.  The vessel was freed by UAE special forces, in coordination with the U.S. 5th fleet, on 02 Apr. (Commercial sources, IMB)

GULF OF ADEN:

  • Chemical tanker (FAIRCHEM FILLY) was fired upon by one skiff 01 April at 0230 UTC while underway in position 14:05N – 051:43E, approximately 153NM southeast of Al Mukulla, Yemen.  The vessel was fired upon by one skiff with RPGs and AK47s in the westbound lane of the IRTC.  The armed security team fired rocket flares at the approaching skiff.  The pirates aborted the attack and moved toward a mothership, an off-white hulled fishing vessel with an off-white superstructure. (Commercial Sources, IMB, UKMTO)

SOUTHEAST ASIA:

INDONESIA:

  • Robbers attempted to board a chemical tanker 04 Apr at 2130 UTC while at berth in position 01:45.22N – 101:22.17E, approximately 86NM southwest of Kuala Lumpur. Five robbers in a small boat approached the vessel and attempted to climb onboard using fire wire.  The duty crew informed the other crewmembers they had spotted the robbers.  The robbers aborted the attempt after seeing crewmembers on the deck. (IMB)

SOUTH CHINA SEA:

  • A tug was robbed in transit 01 Apr at 1530 UTC while underway in position 02:48N – 105:31E, approximately 135NM northeast of Singapore.  Eight suspects armed with knives boarded the vessel. (Commercial sources)
  • An offshore supply tug was robbed in transit 31 Mar at 1430 UTC while underway in position 02:04N – 106:00E, approximately 137NM northeast of Singapore.  A speedboat with ten robbers in masks carrying knives boarded and robbed the vessel of electronics, to include cell phones and laptops, and crew cash. (Commercial sources)

Indian Ocean Piracy Forecast, week of 7 April 2011:

Weather conditions this week are expected to be mild and conducive to small-boat operations throughout the piracy operating area, to include the southern Indian Ocean and Mozambique Channel.  Mariners are advised the Arabian Sea, Somali Basin, Gulf of Aden, and Mozambique Channel are high-risk areas for piracy.  When transiting the region, mariners are encouraged to contact UKMTO and all appropriate authorities.


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