likelihood of pirate activity indian ocean

Weekly Piracy Update: Aggressive Tactics in the Gulf of Guinea

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January 12, 2012

Worldwide Summary of Maritime Crime and Piracy, Week of 5 – 11 January (Source: Office of Naval Intelligence)

PERU: Container vessel boarded on 5 January while at anchor at position 12:07.7S – 077:12.3W, Callao Port Anchorage, Peru.  Two robbers gained access to ship unnoticed, stole ship’s stores and departed the ship.  Duty crewmen noticed theft while conducting security patrol of ship and raised alarm.  Port authorities informed and a local patrol boat sent out as part of investigation. (IMB)

IVORY COAST: Container ship boarded by two robbers armed with long knives on 11 January while anchored at position 05:13:11N – 004:02:59W, the Abidjan Outer anchorage. They took hostage the duty watchman, stole his radio, ship’s stores, and escaped.  The watchman informed bridge who raised the alarm. Port authorities also informed. (IMB)


  • Container ship underway on 9 January near position 03:00N – 007:28E, approximately 85 nm south of Bonny Island, Nigeria, was chased and fired upon by eight pirates armed with AK47s in a single skiff launched from a nearby from a fishing trawler.  The Master increased speed, took evasive maneuvers, and crew mustered in the citadel, prompting the pirates to abort the attack and move away. (IMB)
  • Chemical tanker adrift boarded by ten pirates on 3 January near position 05:51:30 N – 003:05:40 E, approximately 40 nm SSW of Lagos, Nigeria. The pirates destroyed communications equipment, stole cash and property from the crew, and then escaped.  One  crewman injured during the attack, which was reported to the Nigerian Navy. (IMB)

INDONESIA: Container vessel boarded by seven armed robbers on 7 January while anchored near position 06:06:20N – 106:51:30E, Jakarta Roads, Indonesia.  Duty watchman found the steering gear door open and entered to investigate. The robbers caught the watchman, took him hostage, covered his eyes, and stole his radio. One robber stood guard with the watchman while the others entered the engine room. After 20 minutes onboard the robbers left the engine room and escaped. The duty watchman went to the bridge and raised the alarm (IMB)

VIETNAM: Container vessel experienced an attempted boarding by three robbers on 7 January while at anchor in position 10:46N – 106:43E, Ho Chi Minh Container Terminal, Vietnam. Duty crewman noticed small boat alongside with robbers attempting to board, crewman raised alarm and robbers fled without gaining access to the ship. (IMB)


likelihood of pirate activity indian ocean
Likelihood of Pirate Activity (Graphic courtesy of the Naval Oceanographic Office Warfighting Support Center)
piracy small boat operations weather forecast
Ten-Day Piracy Small Boat Operations Weather Forecast (Graphic courtesy of the Naval Oceanographic Office Warfighting Support Center)

Weather Forecast for 12 – 18 JAN 

A. GULF OF ADEN: An east-northeasterly wind flow will continue over the next three days.  Expect winds ENE 10 – 15 and seas 2 – 4 feet, then decreasing to 1 – 3 feet by the end of the period.  EXTENDED FORECAST Winds will become more easterly (E 5 – 10) and seas will continue at 1 – 3 feet.

B. SOMALI COAST:  NE monsoonal flow off the Somali coast continues to produce moderate to severe impacts in the area.  Expect winds NE 18 – 23 and seas 5 – 7 feet through the next 72 hours.  EXTENDED FORECAST: Winds and seas will remain NE 18 – 23 with seas 5 – 7 feet through the forecast period.

C. NORTH ARABIAN SEA:  Winds NE 10 – 15 and seas will maintain 1 – 3 feet through the next 72 hours.  EXTENDED FORECAST Winds will become more northerly (N 5 – 10) and seas will increase to 3 – 5 feet by the 17 JAN, and then decrease to 1 – 3 feet by the end of the period, still having little to no impacts to small boat operations.

D. INDIAN OCEAN: Area storms continue to provide for the main cause of wind flow and sea states off the Tanzanian and Kenyan coasts.  Residual swell waves from the southern Somali Basin region continue to provide some impacts, but overall conditions will remain moderate, winds NE 13 – 18 and seas 3 – 5 feet through the next 72 hours. EXTENDED FORECAST Small boat operations off the Tanzania and Kenyan coasts will be impacted by transiting storms, with winds NE 13 – 18 and seas 3 – 5 feet throughout the forecast period.

E. MOZAMBIQUE CHANNEL: Madagascar continues to provide some shelter from transiting storms, but funneling will help maintain winds and seas.  Winds will be NW 10 – 15 and seas 2 – 4 feet in the Mozambique Channel.  These conditions should produce marginal impacts to small boat operations. EXTENDED FORECAST Winds will become more northerly (N 10 – 15) shifting (NE 5 – 10) by the end of the period and seas will remain 2 – 4 feet, having marginal impacts to small boat operations.

F. 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 2 knots.  An area of increased speed exists along the Somali coast, continuing south off the northern Kenya coastline.  This NE to SW current is moving at speeds in excess of 3 knots.

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