Weekly Piracy Report: Smyrni, NOOOOOO!

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May 17, 2012

Weekly Incidents by Region: May 10-16

SOUTH AMERICA

COLOMBIA: Bulk carrier was boarded on 13 May while underway at 03:46 N – 077:27 W, around 9.4 nm from Isla La Palma, Buenaventura. Four pirates boarded the bulk carrier while it was waiting for berthing instructions. The alarm was raised and the crew mustered and approached the pirates with steel pipes. The pirates jumped overboard and escaped with stolen ship’s stores. (IMB)

MEDITERRANEAN–BLACK SEA

EGYPT: Product tanker was boarded on 14 May while anchored at 29:50 N – 032:31 E, Port Suez Anchorage, Egypt. Pirates boarded an anchored product tanker unnoticed, stole ship stores and escaped unnoticed. The theft occurred during a sandstorm when the duty crewman was called into the accommodation. Port control was informed. (IMB)

INDIAN OCEAN–EAST AFRICA

OMAN: Liberian-flagged crude oil tanker pirated on 10 May while underway at 15:58 N – 061:02 E, around 250 nm southeast of Ras Al Madrakah, Oman. Ten pirates in two skiffs armed with automatic weapons chased a crude oil tanker underway. The tanker enforced anti piracy measures, increased speed, made evasive maneuvers and managed to evade the boarding attempt resulting in the skiffs regrouping with the mother ship in the vicinity. Later, the skiffs launched a second attack on the tanker, approached at a speed of 24 knots and managed to successfully board and hijack the vessel and take hostage the 26 crew members. (IMB)

YEMEN: Tanker fired upon on 10 May while underway at 14:18 N – 058:27 E around 260 nm east-northeast of Socotra Island, Yemen. Six pirates in a skiff approached and fired upon a tanker underway from a distance of 500 meters. The armed security team returned fire which resulted in the skiff aborting and moving away. (IMB)

YEMEN: Crude oil tanker attacked on 09 May while underway at 10:40 N – 060:04 E 345 nm east-southeast of Socotra Island, Yemen. Pirates in two skiffs armed with AK47 and RPG approached the crude tanker. The pirates fired seven RPG rounds and more than 300 AK- 47 rounds at the tanker from 500 meters away. Effective anti piracy measures resulted in the skiffs aborting and moving away. No injuries from the crew but the vessel sustained damage from the weapons firing. (IMB)

SOUTHEAST ASIA

INDONESIA: Bulk Carrier was boarded on 10 May while underway at 03:42 S-114:27 E, Taboneo Anchorage, Indonesia. Pirates boarded the anchored bulk carrier during cargo operations and stole ship’s stores from the ships forecastle and escaped before being spotted by the crew. Authorities were informed and boarded the vessel to conduct an inspection. (IMB)

INDONESIA: Bulk Carrier was boarded while at anchor on 12 May at 01:11 S – 117:13 E, Muara Jawa Anchorage, Samarinda, Indonesia. Pirates boarded an anchored bulk carrier and stole ship’s stores and escaped unnoticed. The theft was noticed by the duty A/B during routine rounds on deck. (IMB)

Currently Hijacked Vessels

Piracy Weather Forcast: May 17-24

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

GULF OF ADEN: East-northeasterly winds of 8 – 12 knots and seas 1 – 3 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: Expect west-northwesterly winds of 5 – 10 knots and seas of 1 – 3 feet.

SOMALI COAST: South-southwesterly winds of 10 -15 knots, gusting 35 knots in or near thunderstorms, and seas of 3 – 5 feet, with occasional swells of 5 – 7 feet in the southern half of the basin until 19 May. EXTENDED FORECAST: South-westerly winds of 10 – 15 knots, gusting to 35 knots in or near thunderstorms and seas of 3 – 5 feet.

ARABIAN SEA: West-southwesterly winds 15 – 20 knots, with seas of 5 – 7 feet with occasional swells of 7 – 9 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: West-southwesterly winds 15 – 20 knots, with seas of 5 – 7 feet with occasional swells of 7 – 9 feet.

CENTRAL AFRICAN COAST/INDIAN OCEAN: Rain showers and thunderstorms continue to impact the Tanzania and Kenyan coasts due to the continued influence of the Great Rift Trough. A low pressure system from the east will move into the area by the middle of the week, expect strong southwesterly winds and thunderstorms; with south-southwesterly winds of 18 – 22 knots, gusting 35 knots in or near thunderstorms with seas of 5 – 7 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: Southerly to south-southwesterly winds 15 – 20 knots, gusting to 35 knots in or near thunderstorms and seas of 9 – 12 feet, decreasing to 5 – 7 feet after 23 May.

MOZAMBIQUE CHANNEL: Southerly winds in the northern channel of 10 – 15 knots and seas of 5 – 7 feet. In the southern channel winds, south-southeasterly winds of 10 – 15 knots and seas 5 – 7 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: In the northern channel, southerly winds of 15 – 20 knots and seas of 5 – 7 feet, increasing to 9 – 12 after 23 May. In the southern channel, variable winds of 6 – 10 knots, becoming south-southeasterly at 15 – 20 knots and seas of 9 – 12 feet, with occasional swells of 12 – 15 feet after 21 May.

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 knot. Currents speeds along the Somali coast, continuing south off the northern Kenya coastline until about 10 degrees south will average around 2 – 3 knots. The Mozambique Channel has an average current of 1 – 2 knots but the current speed along the northwestern portion of the channel will average 2 – 3 knots.

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

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