Weekly Maritime Crime and Piracy Update: Week of 29 Sept 2011

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

Indian Ocean Piracy Summary

BENIN:

Chemical tanker fired upon, boarded, and robbed 2 October at 2337 LT while drifting in position 04:06N – 002:51E, approximately 136 nm southeast of Cotonou, Benin.  Pirates armed with automatic weapons approached in two small boats and boarded the vessel. The crew retreated into the citadel and stayed there the whole night, when they emerged the next day they found that the pirates had stolen ship cash. (IMB)

GUINEA:

Cargo ship (THOR LIGHT) boarded and robbed 29 September at 0505 UTC while anchored in position 09:24N – 013:43W, Conakry anchorage. Ten to twelve robbers armed with guns and knives boarded the vessel and assaulted the eleven crew members. Robbers stayed onboard for approximately 40 minutes, during which time they stole ship’s and crew’s cash and crew’s personal belongings before escaping. Port authorities were contacted but received no response. (Open Source, IMB)

INDIAN OCEAN:

  • Fishing vessel (GLENAN) fired upon by pirates in two skiffs 3 October at 0532 UTC while underway in position 04:59N – 058:00E, approximately 558 nm east of Hobyo, Somalia. One dhow was also sighted. Vessel was protected by a French Navy team, which exchanged fire with the pirates, no injuries were reported. (Operator)
  • Oil exploration vessel (OCEAN RIG POSEIDON) fired upon by pirates 3 October at 2016 LT while underway in position 07:49S – 040:14E, approximately 83 nm southeast of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Seven pirates approached the vessel, which sent out a distress call. Vessel with Tanzanian Navy personnel responded, there was an exchange of fire, and the pirates were arrested. (IMB, Open Source)
  • Chemical tanker (UACC SHAMS) fired upon by four pirates in one skiff 2 October at 0350 UTC while underway in position 03:50N – 056:23E, approximately 480 nm southeast of Hobyo, Somalia. Vessel noticed mothership launching two skiffs from 8 nm away. Both skiffs approached, and at a distance of 4 nm one skiff turned back to the mothership, which had a white top and a red hull. Master raised the alarm and all nonessential crew retreated into the citadel. Armed security team fired warning shots at the skiff when it closed to 800 meters, skiff fell back and fired RPG which exploded 200 meters from the vessel, which was unharmed, pirates then aborted the attack. (UKMTO, IMB)
  • Chemical tanker (TORM REPUBLICAN) fired upon by pirates in  one skiff 29 September at 1215 UTC while underway in position 11:40.8N – 063:05E, approximately 507 nm southeast of Socotra Island, Yemen. Vessel had fire hoses, razor wire, a lookout, and sounded the alarm when the attack began. Armed security team fired warning shots, and skiff fired three shots at the vessel, then aborted the attack. (NATO Shipping Center)

ARABIAN SEA:

Cargo vessel (LARA RICKMERS) fired upon by five pirates in one skiff 2 October at 0901 UTC while underway in position 16:06N – 062:47E, approximately 525 nm northeast of Socotra Island, Yemen. Skiff approached at 23 knots, the cargo vessel was traveling at 18 knots. The master raised the alarm and all nonessential crew retreated into the citadel. The armed security team of four fired a warning flare, the skiff continued to approach and started to fire at the vessel about 60 meters from it. The team fired warning shots in front of the skiff, then again as the skiff continued its approach. The skiff moved away, and at a distance of 700 meters fired an RPG which did not hit the skiff. The team fired warning shots, the skiff them moved away and returned to a mother vessel. One additional skiff was sighted. (UKMTO, IMB)

GULF OF ADEN:

Bulk carrier (THEOFOROS I) experienced an attempted boarding by seven pirates in one skiff 2 October at 0400 UTC while underway in position 13:01N – 048:49E, approximately 92 nm southwest of Al Mukalla, Yemen. Master noticed skiff  approaching at 20 knots, raised the alarm, informed navies in the vicinity, and enforced antipiracy measures. Unarmed security team fired a warning flare at 500 meters, crew retreated to the citadel. After pirates in the skiff hooked a ladder onto the vessel the security team retreated to the citadel. Communications with navies were established and a helicopter confirmed there were no pirates onboard the vessel. Security team left the citadel, confirmed there were no pirates onboard, and let the crew out. Pirates had ripped off some of the razor wire on the vessel.  (IMB, Open Source)

VIETNAM:

Container ship boarded and robbed 30 September at 2300 LT while anchored in position 10:13.55N – 107:04.04E, approximately 38 nm southeast of Ho Chi Minh City at the Vung Tau Outer Anchorage. Robbers boarded the vessel and stole ship stores unnoticed by ship crew. The duty able seaman (AB) later found the lock to the forward store broken (IMB)

Piracy and Weather Forecast for 6–12 OCT 2011

A. GULF OF ADEN: Expect calm seas and light winds for next 72 hours.  EXTENDED FORECAST: Impacts will remain minimal within the GOA as the SW monsoon season has come to an end.

B. SOMALI COAST/NORTH ARABIAN SEA: A remnant area of high seas (5 – 7 feet) exists along the northeastern coast of Somalia through the waters around Socotra Island.  Expect this area to decrease to 3 – 5 feet over the next 24 hours.  Light to moderate seas (3 – 5 feet) exist along the southern Somali coast.  Variable light winds and 3 – 5 foot swell waves will dominate conditions in the North Arabian Sea for next 72 hours.  EXTENDED FORECAST: A tropical wave east of Madagascar will slowly move toward Somali/Kenyan coastline, increasing seas and winds south of Chisimayu through extended forecast.  Expect severe heights above 8 feet with gusty winds by 9 Oct.  Residual swell waves in the North Arabian Sea abate to minimal levels by 9 Oct.

C. INDIAN OCEAN: Minimal seas and winds exist along the Kenyan/Tanzania coastline as the major effects of the SW monsoon have dissipated.  Expect slowly increasing seas from the southeast over the next 72 hours as a tropical wave approaches region.  A passing storm system south of the Mozambique Channel has increased seas within the Channel, continuing through next 72 hours.   EXTENDED FORECAST:  Expect impacted conditions within the Mozambique Channel to diminish by 11 Oct.  To the north, impacted conditions will persist along the central African coastline.  Expect increasing seas above 8 feet by 9 Oct along the Kenyan/Tanzanian coastline.

D. SURFACE CURRENTS: With the ending of the monsoon season, currents will slowly diminish in speed and severity.  Currents within the Somalia Basin, Gulf of Aden, and into the Indian Ocean remain variable with most areas having average speeds of less than 2 knots.  A remaining region of increased speed up to 4 knots occurs from 3N to 13N along the Somali coast.

Indian Ocean Piracy Forecast

Piracy small craft forecast