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Weekly Piracy and Maritime Crime Report – Week of 4 August 2011

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August 11, 2011

Worldwide Summary of Piracy and Maritime Crime – Week of 4 August (Source: ONI)

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GULF OF ADEN: A general cargo ship (GRETA) was fired upon by one 12-meter white plastic skiff  with five pirates onboard on 9 August at 0226 UTC while underway in position 13:08N – 048:41E, approximately 88NM southwest of Al Mukallah, Yemen. The pirates were armed with RPG and guns.  The onboard security team fired warning shots, and the pirates aborted the attack. A warship in the vicinity carried out a search in the area. (IMB, UKMTO)

COLOMBIA: A chemical tanker experienced an attempted boarding 4 August at 0750 UTC while at anchor in position 10:19N – 075:31W, in Mamonal Inner Anchorage. Six robbers in a wooden speed boat attempted to board an anchored chemical tanker via the anchor chain. Alert duty seaman noticed the robbers, raised the alarm, and flashed lights on them. Upon seeing crew alertness, the robbers aborted the attempt and escaped. Incident was reported to the Mamonal port control who informed the coast guard. (IMB)

ATLANTIC OCEAN: Container ship boarded 7 August at 0050 UTC while at anchor in position 04:45S – 011:46E in Point Noire Anchorage, Congo. Ship watchman onboard spotted four armed robbers on the main deck. He immediately informed the duty officer who raised the alarm, alerted all crew members, and informed the port control. Seeing crew alertness, the robbers jumped overboard and escaped in a long wooden boat with stolen ship stores. (IMB)

MALAYSIA: An LPG tanker was boarded 8 August at 0200 LT while at anchor in position 01:15N – 103:27E, approximately 13NM west of Singapore.  Four robbers armed with long knives boarded an anchored LPG tanker. They entered the engine room, tied up the duty oiler, stole engine spares, and escaped. The oiler managed to release himself and raise the alarm. Authorities informed. (IMB)

SOUTH CHINA SEA: A tug was robbed 6 August at 2130 LT while underway in position 02:11N – 109:15E, approximately 15NM northwest of Borneo, Indonesia. Eight robbers armed with knives boarded a tug underway. They stole ships stores and crew’s personal belongings. Pirates left the ship after one hour. All crew safe. (IMB)

Indian Ocean Weather and Piracy Forecast: 11-13 August

GULF OF ADEN:

Western waters of the GOA show light sea conditions, ranging from 1 – 3 feet.  Seas increase as you continue to the east, with heights ranging from 5 – 8 feet within the eastern portion of the GOA. Expect slightly decreased but continuous winds from the southwest of 18 – 22 knots and higher gusts through next 72 hours. These conditions may hinder piracy/small boat operations.

EXTENDED FORECAST:  Southwest winds 18 – 22 knots with higher gusts will continue through 18 Aug.  Overall, expect western vs. eastern GOA disparity to continue with regards to sea heights, with maximum heights persisting in the eastern half.  Based on sea heights for forecast week, the most conducive areas for piracy within the Gulf of Aden will be the western portion and some areas in the central GOA through 18 August.

SOMALI COAST/NORTH ARABIAN SEA:

Sustained southwest winds of 24 – 28 knots with higher gusts will remain over the Somali Basin through the next 72 hours.  North Arabian Sea winds range from 22 – 26 knots with higher gusts from the west-southwest.  The highest sea heights (11 – 14 feet) cover a region from the north- central Somali coast northwest into the central Arabian Sea.  Sea heights decrease somewhat (7 – 10 feet) within central and southern portions of the Somali Basin, as well as waters off Oman, Pakistan, and India.

EXTENDED FORECAST: Southwest winds 24 – 28 knots with higher gusts will continue through 18 August in the Somali Basin.  Winds in the North Arabian Sea will continue from the west-southwest 22 – 26 knots with higher gusts through 18 August.  Expect a slow and small decrease (1 – 2 feet) within the Somali Basin and North Arabian Sea to occur by 15 Aug.  Severe winds and sea heights will continue to create conditions non-conducive for small boat/piracy operations through forecast period. 

INDIAN OCEAN:

Coastal waters off Kenya as well as waters south of the equator extending east into the Indian Ocean will remain moderate through 18 August, with sea heights ranging from 4 – 7 feet.  Coastal waters off the Tanzania coast and south to Mozambique range from 3 – 6 feet, with the highest of the range off the Tanzanian coast, then decreasing as you progress south toward the Mozambique Channel. Waters around the Maldives will prove to be most conducive for small boat/piracy operations, with sea heights ranging from 1 – 3 feet. 

EXTENDED FORECAST:   Conditions within the regions listed above will continue through 18 August.  Expect the most conducive areas for piracy to be waters within the Mozambique Channel and the waters around the Maldives through 18 August. 

SURFACE CURRENTS:

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 equator to 11N along the Somali coast.  Currents within the Gulf of Aden are variable with most areas having speeds of 1.5 knots or less.  Portions of the GOA have increased current speeds up to 3.6 knots, to include the south-central portion of the GOA and waters off SW Oman.

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