Weekly Piracy Update: Busy, But Not in a Good Way

Total Views: 0
March 29, 2012

Weekly Incidents by Region: MAR 22-28


CARIBBEAN: Petroleum products tanker boarded on 24 March while anchored at position 18:32 N – 72:23 W, the Port au Prince anchorage. Two boats approached the vessel during a heavy rain. Duty crew noticed there were 2-3 armed robbers on each boat and one robber threatened him by waiving a hand gun. One of the robbers armed with machete managed to board the tanker and was seen attempting to cut the mooring rope. Duty Officer raised the alarm and contacted pilot station for assistance. On hearing the alarm, the robber jumped into the water with small amount of stolen ship’s stores and escaped. A coast guard boat came to the location and investigated the immediate area. Master weighed anchor and proceed to drift outside the anchorage area. (IMB).


NIGERIA: A Tanker was approached by a skiff on 26 March 370nm West of Victoria, Seychelles, Somalia 05:21S – 049:18E. Four armed pirates in a skiff chased and fired 30 rounds at the underway Tanker. The Tanker enforced anti piracy measures and the onboard security team returned fire causing the skiff to abort the attack and sail away. (IMB).

NIGERIA: A Tanker was approached by a skiff on 24 March 190nm east-northeast of Sur, Oman, Somalia at positions 20:49N – 062:27E. A Pirate mother ship was at a distance of 6 nm. The Takers Master observed a skiff launch 4nm away. The Master alerted the onboard security team. The skiff approached the vessel at a speed of around 25-30 knots. Master raised alarm, sent a distress signal and altered course. As the skiff closed to around 1000 meters, the onboard security team launched a rocket flare and fired two warning shots resulting in the skiffs stopping and moving towards the tanker’s stern. The skiff with 6-7 pirates onboard maintained a distance of 1nm and continued to chase the Tanker. The armed security team fired several warning shots causing the skiff to stop the attack and return to the mother vessel. A warship responded to the distress message and sent a surveillance aircraft to the location. (IMB).

NIGERIA: A General Cargo vessel was approached by three skiffs at high speed on 23 March 220nm East of Sur, Oman, Somalia at positions 22:37 N – 063:31 E. The skiffs were observed following the ship as she altered course to move away. The ships Master alerted the security team who fired warning shots at the skiffs who were 15/20 feet away from the ship. The skiffs later sailed away. (IMB).

NIGERIA: Chemical Tanker was chased on 22 March 100nm SW off Bonny Island, Nigeria at position 02:57 N – 006:12 E. Armed pirates in two boats chased a chemical tanker. The Master raised the alarm and sent a SSAS alert and instructed the crew to proceed to the safe room. A US warship responded to the alert and offered assistance. The pirates later aborted and left. (IMB).


INDIAN OCEAN: Fishing vessel reportedly hijacked on 26 March while underway near position 10:00 S – 050:00 E, approximately 115 nm north of Madagascar. It has been reported that maritime officials have lost contact with the vessel, and that there are 15 crewmembers of unknown nationalities aboard. (IMB, Press)

INDIAN OCEAN: Bulk carrier reportedly hijacked on 26 March while underway near position 07:00 N – 069:45 E: approximately 200 nm southwest of Minicoy Island, India. Pirates took hostage 23 crew members and are sailing the vessel towards the coast of Somalia. Further reporting awaited. (IMB)

INDIAN OCEAN: Tanker attacked on 26 March while underway near position 05:21 S – 049:18 E, approximately 370 nm west of Victoria, Seychelles. Four armed pirates in a skiff chased the ship, reportedly firing 30 rounds at the vessel. Ship’s Master increased speed and employed other anti-piracy measures. The onboard security team returned fire, resulting in the skiff aborting the attack moving away. The crew and vessel are reported safe. (IMB)

INDIAN OCEAN: Merchant vessel attacked on 25 March while underway near position 14:17 N – 056:51 E, approximately 215 nm northeast of Socotra Island, Yemen. (NATO)

INDIAN OCEAN: Merchant vessel attacked on 23 March while underway near position 16:58 N – 062:48 E, approximately 285 nm southeast of Masirah Island, Oman. (NATO)


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: MAR 28 – APR 3

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

GULF OF ADEN: Moderate conditions will persist throughout the period. Expect northeast winds of 10 – 15 knots and seas of 1 – 3 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: Northeasterly winds of 10 – 15 knots, with seas of 1 – 3 feet.

SOMALI COAST: The northeast monsoonal flow off the Somali coast continues to slowly subside as the transition season continues. Expect wind and sea conditions to be variable as the weather pattern shifts. Easterly winds at 8 – 13 knots and seas of 1 – 3 feet will predominate. EXTENDED FORECAST: Winds will maintain easterly speed of 8 – 13 knots, and seas of 1 – 3 feet.

ARABIAN SEA: Northerly winds of 5– 10 knots, becoming westerly at 5 – 10 knots by 30 March, with seas of 1 -3 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: Westerly winds of 5 – 10 knots, with seas of 1 – 3 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 easterly winds of 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 winds will maintain easterly 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 produced by migrating low pressure systems. Winds in the northern channel will be primarily northeasterly at 5 – 10 knots with seas of 2 – 4 feet. In the southern channel winds there will be southeasterly winds of 5 – 10 knots, becoming northeasterly at 13 – 18 knots by 30 March, with seas of 3 – 5 feet, increasing to 6 – 9 feet by 31 March. EXTENDED FORECAST: In the northern channel, northeasterly winds of 5 – 10 knots, becoming southwesterly at 5 – 10 by 02 April, with seas of 2 – 4 feet, increasing to 4 – 6 feet by 31 March. In the southern channel winds, northeasterly winds of 13 – 18 knots, becoming southeasterly at 10 – 15 knots by 02 April, with seas of 6 – 9 feet, increasing to 9 – 12 feet by 02 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 Kenyan coastline until about 5ËšS. This NE to SW current is moving along the coastline at speeds of 1 to 3 knots. The Mozambique Channel has an average current of 1 – 2 knots.

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

Back to Main