Weekly Piracy Report: What Happened to the Monsoon? LNG Carrier Takes Fire

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June 21, 2012

HOA Pirate Activity, 14– 20 June

Incidents by Region: June 14-20

INDIAN OCEAN–EAST AFRICA

OMAN: Marshall Island Flagged, US owned (?), M/V LNG ARIES was attacked by a skiff with 5-6 pirates onboard on 20 June at 20:50 N – 059:30 E, 35 nm northeast of Masirah Island, Oman. The skiff had no visible ladders onboard but opened fire with machine guns at approximately 400-600 yards. The vessel also reported sighting an RPG. No casualties were reported. The vessel had no EST aboard but had a citadel onboard, razor wire and fire hoses were rigged. The vessel increased speed and separated 4 nm from the skiff before the skiff ended pursuit. The USS VICKSBURG was approximately 200 nm northeast of Masirah, Oman. M/V LNG ARIES was later confirmed safe. (IMB)

MOL LNG’s LNG ARIES. Photo by Jurij S. via Marinetraffic.com

OMAN: Chemical Tanker was chased on 09 June at 24:52 N – 056:38 E 12 nm east of Al Bulaydah, Oman. Pirates in four boats chased a chemical tanker underway. Two boats approached from stern and positioned itself not more than five meters from the tanker’s poop deck. The master raised alarm, took evasive maneuvers and non-essential crew mustered in the citadel. The ship’s whistle was sounded continuously and the search light was directed towards the third boat. The boat altered course and moved away. The remaining three boats passed very close to the tanker’s side without stopping. After 20 mins, two other boats approached the tanker from stern, one from port and the other from stbd. The master took counter-piracy preventive measures, directed the search light and noticed four persons in one boat and five on another boat. After 15 mins, the boats increased speed and moved away. (IMB)

GULF OF ADEN: Bulk Carrier approached on 18 June at 12:19 N – 043:57 E, Gulf of Aden. Six skiffs with 4-6 pirates in each skiff approached a bulk carrier underway at 25 knots from the starboard bow. The Master raised alarm, increased speed, altered course and sent a distress message. The skiffs attempted to approach the vessel from the starboard beam and starboard quarter and have one skiff approach from the port bow. The onboard armed security team fired eight warning flares but the pirates continued their approach. Weapons and ladders were seen in the skiff. After 40 minutes the security team fired six warning shots and the pirates aborted the approach. A naval ship arrived for assistance. (IMB)

MEDITERRANEAN–BLACK SEA

EGYPT: Bulk carrier boarded on 10 June at 31:13 N – 029:42 E, El Dekheila Anchorage, Egypt. An anchored bulk carrier was boarded by robbers via the hawse pipe by forcibly removing the secured anchor chain cover. The portside watertight door padlock was broken and the contents from the port life raft were stolen. The alarm was raised when D/O noticed that the portside watertight door was partly opened and duty A/B and boatswain investigated. After hearing the alarm, the robbers escaped in a small boat with the stolen stores. (IMB)

RED SEA

RED SEA: Tanker was approached on 12 June at 13:20 N – 042:56 E, Red Sea. A tanker underway noticed a white skiff with two outboard motors approach her at more than 25 knots. Initially two pirates were observed in the skiff and as the skiff closed five more were observed to surface from the skiff floor. As the skiff continued to approach aggressively at a distance of 200 meters from the tanker, the Master authorized the armed team to fire warning shots. After 1 hour 25 minutes, another two white skiffs with twin outboard motors doing more than 25 knots were observed approaching the tanker. The armed security team showed their weapons again and fired warning shots with rocket flares at a distance of 200 meters. In both incidents the non essential crew retreated into the citadel and a distress signal was sent requesting assistance. Surveillance aircraft were dispatched which arrived at the location. (IMB)

SOUTHEAST ASIA

INDIA: Bulk Carrier was boarded on 17 June at 17:00 N – 082:18 E, Kakinada Anchorage, India. Robbers boarded the anchored bulk carrier. The duty A/B on rounds heard two robbers talking to each other on the forecastle. He immediately informed the 2/O on the bridge who raised the alarm and sounded the ship’s whistle continuously. The duty A/B heard a motor boat moving away from the vicinity of the forecastle. On inspection, a new mooring rope was found partially hacked into small pieces on the deck. Kakinada port control was called on VHF but no response was received. The ship’s agent was informed and a security message was transmitted via VHF to warn other ships at the anchorage area. (IMB)

MALAYSIA: Robbers boarded an anchored Tug on 17 June at 01:38 N-110:28 E, Kuching Anchorage, Malaysia. Robbers boarded an anchored tug and barge. They broke open containers, stole the cargo and escaped unnoticed. The master reported the incident to the local law enforcement and authorities. The entire crew was safe. (IMB)

Piracy Weather Forecast: June 21-27

Pirate Skiff Capability (Graphic courtesy of the Naval Oceanographic Office Warfighting Support Center)

GULF OF ADEN: West-southwesterly winds of 10 – 15 knots, with seas of 2 – 4 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: West-southwesterly winds of 10 – 15 knots, with seas of 2 – 4 feet, temporally increasing to 5 – 7 feet after 25 June.

SOMALI COAST: The Somali Coastal area remains under the influence of the Southwest Monsoon, with south-southwesterly winds of 25 – 30 knots and seas of 6 – 8 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: south-southwesterly winds of 25 – 30 knots and seas of 7 – 9 feet.

ARABIAN SEA: Westerly winds of 18 – 24 knots and seas of 9 – 12 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: West-southwesterly winds of 18 – 24 knots and seas of 9 – 12 feet.

CENTRAL AFRICAN COAST/INDIAN OCEAN: South-southeasterly winds of 18 – 22 knots and seas of 5 – 7 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: South-southeasterly winds of 12 – 16 knots and seas of 7 – 9 feet, decreasing to between 4 – 6 feet.

MOZAMBIQUE CHANNEL: The normal high and low pressure interaction around 40 degrees South latitude continues to influence the area. Expect south-southeasterly winds in the northern channel of 15 – 18 knots and seas of 5 – 7 feet. In the southern channel, there will be south-southeasterly winds of 12 – 15 knots and seas of 7 – 9 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: In the northern channel, expect east-southeasterly winds of 10 – 15 knots and seas of 4 – 6 feet. In the southern channel, expect south-southeasterly winds of 8 – 12 knots, becoming variable at 4 – 6 knots, with seas of 5 –7 feet.

SURFACE CURRENTS: The currents within the Gulf of Aden average around 0.5 – 1 knot. Currents speeds along the Somali basin, continuing south off the northern Kenya coastline until about 10ËšS will average around 2 – 3 knots. The Mozambique Channel has an average current of 0.25 – 1.25 knots.

The report is brought to you by the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence’s Maritime OPINTEL Report

Read: Last Week’s Piracy Report

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