Weekly Piracy Report: All Quiet on The Eastern Front… Almost

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April 19, 2012

Weekly Incident by Region: April 12-18


TOGO: Bulk carrier experienced an attempted boarding on 4 April at 06:01 N – 001:17 E, 7 nm southeast of Lome. Four robbers in a boat attempted to board the anchored bulk carrier. The duty crew raised the alarm and the robbers aborted the attempt. (IMB)

TOGO: Tanker boarded at anchor on 4 April at 05:58 N – 001:16 E, 9.6 nm South of Lome Breakwater, Lome, Togo. Two pirates armed with machine guns boarded the anchored tanker and entered the engine room and berthing. The crew raised the alarm and retreated into the citadel. Attempts to contact the authorities failed but the sister ship of the vessel in the vicinity relayed the area message to the Togo navy. A Navy team subsequently boarded vessel for investigation. No injuries to crew. (IMB)


MOZAMBIQUE: Bulk carrier attacked while underway on 13 April at 11:18 S – 041:00 E 40 nm east of Mocimboa da Praia, Mozambique. Seven pirates armed with automatic weapons in a skiff chased and fired upon the bulk carrier. Ship’s Master raised the alarm, took evasive maneuvers, informed UKMTO and mustered the crew. After chasing the skiff for 20 minutes the pirates aborted the attack because of measures taken by the vessel and the adverse sea conditions. (IMB)


MALAYSIA: Tanker boarded on 15 April while underway at 01:35 N – 104:37 E, 24 nm northeast of Tg. Penyusop, Malaysia. Seven pirates armed with guns and knives boarded the tanker, threatened the crewmembers, damaged the communication equipments, and stole ship’s cash, properties and escaped. No injuries to crewmembers. Incident was also reported to Singapore and Vietnam MRCC. (IMB)

Piracy Weather Forecast: April 19-25

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

GULF OF ADEN: Moderate conditions will persist throughout the period. Expect easterly winds of 8 – 13 knots and seas of 1 – 2 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: Easterly winds of 8 – 13 knots, with seas of 1– 2 feet.

SOMALI COAST: The northeast monsoonal flow off the Somali coast continues to slowly subside as the transition season progresses. Expect wind and sea conditions to be variable as the weather pattern shifts. Southeasterly winds at 5 – 10 knots and seas of 1 – 3 feet will predominate. EXTENDED FORECAST: Winds will maintain southeasterly at 5 – 10 knots, with seas of 2 – 4 feet.

ARABIAN SEA: Southerly winds of 10– 15 knots, becoming easterly at 5 – 10 knots, by 21 April, with seas of 1 -3 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: Southwesterly winds of 10 – 15 knots, becoming westerly at 5 to 10 knots by 16 April, with seas of 2 – 4 feet.

CENTRAL AFRICAN COAST/INDIAN OCEAN: Residual swell waves from the Mozambique Channel will have significant impacts, with southerly winds of 13 – 18 knots and seas of 5 – 7 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: Small boat operations off the Tanzanian and Kenyan coast will have significant impacts with southerly winds of 13 – 18 knots and seas of 5 – 7 feet, decreasing to 3 – 5 feet by 24 April.

MOZAMBIQUE CHANNEL: There are significant impacts in the southern channel from swell waves moving into the area from the southwestern Indian Ocean produced by migrating low pressure systems and marginal to significant impacts in the northern channel as the waves move north. Expect southerly winds in the northern channel of 13 – 18 knots and seas of 5 – 7 feet. In the southern channel, expect southerly winds of 15 – 20 knots and seas of 8 – 11 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: In the northern channel, expect southerly winds of 13 – 18 knots and seas of 5 – 7 feet. In the southern channel, expect southerly winds of 15 – 20 knots, becoming southeasterly at 18 – 23 knots by 24 April, and seas of 8 – 11 feet, decreasing to 6 – 8 feet by 24 April.

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 5 degrees south. 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.

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

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