Weekly Piracy and Maritime Crime Update: Week of 28 July 2011

Piracy indian ocean map

Worldwide Piracy and Maritime Crime Summary, Week of 28 July 2011 (Source: ONI)

Somali piracy incidents are occurring at low levels. This is likely due to the southwest monsoon season. There were no piracy incidents in this one-week period. 

ATLANTIC OCEAN:

  • General cargo ship was robbed 1 August at 0015 UTC while anchored at Pointe Noire Roads, The Congo. After the duty crew alerted, the five robbers escaped with ships stores in a high speed boat. (IMB)

 

GULF OF GUINEA:

  • Chemical tanker (GOTLAND SOFIA) was boarded by 10 pirates with guns on 31 July at 0150 UTC while engaged in ship-to-ship operations about 38NM outside Cotonou Port, Benin. The robbers fired at the bridge, the crew barricaded themselves in the engine room. The pirates left the vessel when Benin naval vessels approached. (IMB, Open Sources)
  •  Tanker experienced an attempted boarding 30 July at 1934 UTC while drifting in position 05:42N – 003:05E, approximately 48NM southwest of Lagos, Nigeria. An inflatable boat with six people onboard approached at high speed and attempted to hang a hook with a knotted rope to the ship’s rails. After the crew turned on the fire hoses, two men on the boat fired 15–20 shots at the crew on the bridge wing. Men were armed with a shotgun and one pistol. The pirates made another attempt to board the vessel from the starboard side and aborted the attack. None of the crew was injured. (Flag State)

KENYA:

  • Container vessel was robbed 1 August at 0100 UTC while moored with buoys in position 04:03.7S-039:38.6E in Mombasa Port, Kenya. Two robbers with knives boarded the vessel. The onboard security team noticed the robbers on the forecastle deck and raised the alarm. The robbers escaped after stealing the ship’s stores.  (IMB)

BANGLADESH:

  • General cargo ship was boarded 29 July at 0018 UTC while anchored in position 22:03.76N-091:46.31E, approximately 11NM south of Pattanga Lt House, Chittagong OPL, Bangladesh. Thirteen robbers boarded the vessel. The deck cadet and bosun saw the robbers stealing the ship stores and informed the bridge. The officer of the watch raised the alarm, and the robbers jumped overboard and escaped. The vessel tried to but could not contact authorities. (IMB)

piracy forecast ONI

Indian Ocean Piracy and Weather Forecast for 4–6 AUG 2011 

 

A. GULF OF ADEN: Western waters of the GOA show light sea conditions, ranging from 1 – 3 feet.  Seas quickly increase as you continue to the east, with heights ranging from 5 – 9 feet within the central and eastern portions of the GOA. Expect continuous winds from the southwest of 24 – 28 knots and higher gusts through next 72 hours. These conditions may hinder piracy/small boat operations.  EXTENDED FORECAST:  Southwest winds 24 – 28 knots with higher gusts will continue through 8 Aug, decreasing to 18 – 22 knots through remainder of forecast.

 

Overall, expect western vs. eastern GOA disparity to continue with regards to sea heights, with maximum heights persisting in the eastern half.  This disparity will begin to decrease by 9 Aug as sea heights in the central and eastern portions of the GOA abate to less than 6 feet.  Based on sea heights for forecast week, the most conducive areas for piracy within the Gulf of Aden will be the western portion through 11 August, with some central and eastern GOA areas improving by 9 Aug.

 

B. SOMALI COAST/NORTH ARABIAN SEA:

Sustained southwest winds of 25 – 30 knots with higher gusts will remain over the Somali Basin through the next 72 hours.  North Arabian Sea winds range from 18 – 22 knots with higher gusts from the west-southwest.  The highest sea heights (12 – 15 feet) cover a region from the north-central Somali coast northwest into the central Arabian Sea.  Sea heights decrease somewhat (7 – 10 feet) off Oman, Pakistan, and India.

EXTENDED FORECAST: Southwest winds 25 – 30 knots with higher gusts will continue through 11 August in the Somali Basin.  Winds in the North Arabian Sea will continue from the southwest 18 – 22 knots with higher gusts through 9 August before an increase occurs (SW 20 – 25 knots, with higher gusts).  Severe winds and sea heights will create conditions non-conducive for small boat/piracy operations through forecast period.

 

C. INDIAN OCEAN:

Coastal waters off Kenya as well as waters south of the equator extending east into the Indian Ocean have increased sea heights and will remain moderate through 11 August, with sea heights ranging from 5 – 8 feet.  Coastal waters off the Tanzania coast and south to Mozambique are currently moderate, ranging from 4 – 7 feet; expect the highest of the range off the Tanzanian coast, decreasing as you progress south toward the Mozambique Channel, to 2 – 5 feet. 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 11 August.  Expect the most conducive areas for piracy to be waters within the Mozambique Channel and the waters around the Maldives through 11 August.

 

D. 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 5.5 knots occur from 3S to 10N 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 3.5 knots, to include the central portion of the GOA and waters off SW Oman.