Weekly Piracy Report – Pirates Go 0-for-3 Off Somali Coast as Security Teams Prove Successful

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March 22, 2012

Weekly Incidents by Region – March 15-21



IVORY COAST: LPG Tanker boarded on 17 March while anchored at position 05:13 N – 004:02 W, Abidjan Anchorage. The robbers reportedly boarded the ship during a heavy rain and between rounds by duty personnel. The robbers managed to steal ship’s stores and escaped unnoticed. Theft of stores noticed during the subsequent security rounds by duty personnel. Port authorities and other ships in vicinity were notified. (IMB)


INDIAN OCEAN: Container ship fired upon 19 March while underway at position 05:40 N – 053:23 E, approximately 520 nm northeast of Mogadishu. Six pirates in one skiff, armed with assault rifles and at least one rocket propelled grenade, chased the ship and then fired upon the ship. Ship’s Master raised the alarm, increased speed and mustered the crew in a safe location on the ship. The onboard armed security team returned fire, causing the skiff to break off the attack and move away. No injuries to the crew were reported. (IMB)

INDIAN OCEAN: Merchant vessel fired upon 17 March while underway at position 05:47 N – 053:50 E, approximately 390 nm south of Socotra Island, Yemen. (NATO)

GULF OF ADEN: Petroleum products tanker attacked on 17 March while underway at position 13:09 N – 048:52 E, approximately 70 nm southeast of al Mukalla, Yemen. A skiff with six pirates aboard was noticed by bridge crew as it made a high speed approach toward the ship. Bridge duty officer raised alarm, informed the Ship’s Master and the embarked security team. Master increased speed, altered course and contacted a nearby warship for assistance. The pirate skiff closed to within a half mile and fired upon the ship. The embarked armed security team returned fire resulting in the pirates aborting the attack and moving away. The nearby warship dispatched a helicopter to the location to search for the skiff, without success. No crew injuries or damage to the ship was reported. (IMB)


INDONESIA: Bulk carrier boarded on 18 March while anchored at positions 01:18 S – 116:47 Balikpapan Inner Anchorage. Three robbers boarded the ship, broke into the forward cargo hold and stole ship’s stores. Two duty personnel on rounds saw the robbers and raised the alarm. Upon hearing the alarm, the robbers escaped in a waiting boat. Incident reported to port authorities. (IMB)

Weather Forecast for March 22-28

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

GULF OF ADEN: Moderate conditions will persist throughout the period. Expect east-northeast winds of 10 – 15 knots and seas of 2 – 4 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: Easterly winds of 10 – 15 knots, with seas 2 – 4 feet.

SOMALI COAST: The northeast monsoon flow off the Somali coast continues to produce moderate impacts in the area during the late March through late April timeframe, which is the monsoon transition season. Expect northeasterly winds 10 – 15 knots and seas of 2 – 4 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: Winds will maintain northeasterly speed of 10 – 15 knots, and seas of 2 – 4 feet.

ARABIAN SEA: Northerly winds 5 – 10 knots and seas of 2 – 4 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: Northerly winds of 5 – 10 knots, with seas of 2 – 4 feet.

CENTRAL AFRICAN COAST/INDIAN OCEAN: Residual swell waves from the southern Somali Basin region continue to impact area but overall conditions will remain marginal, with east-northeast winds 5 – 10 knots and seas of 1 – 2 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: Small boat operations off the Tanzania and Kenyan coast will have marginal impacts as east-northeast winds will maintain at 5 – 10 knots with seas of 1 – 2 feet.

MOZAMBIQUE CHANNEL: Expect significant impacts in the Southern Channel from swell waves moving into the area from the southwestern Indian Ocean. Winds in the northern channel will be from the northeast at 5 – 10 knots, with seas of 2 – 4 feet. In the southern channel, winds will be southeasterly at 5 – 10 knots, with seas of 2 – 4 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: In the northern channel, expect northeasterly winds of 5 – 10 knots, becoming southerly at 5 – 10 knots by 26 March, with seas 2 – 4 feet. In the southern channel, southeasterly winds 8 – 13 knots and seas of 5 – 7 feet, increasing to 8 – 11 feet by 26 March.

SURFACE CURRENTS: Currents within the Somalia Basin, Gulf of Aden, and into the Indian Ocean remain variable with most areas having average speeds of less than 1.5 knots. An area of increased current speeds exists along the Somali coast, continuing south off the northern Kenya coastline until about 5ËšS. This northeast to southwest current is moving along the coastline at speeds of 1 to 3 knots. The Mozambique Channel has an average current of 1 – 2 knots.

Source: U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence Maritime OPINTEL Report

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