Weekly Piracy Update: Gulf of Oman and Indonesia Heating Up

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April 12, 2012

Weekly Incidents by Region – APR 5-11


GULF OF OMAN: General Cargo Vessel was attacked and boarded on 6 April 16 nm southwest of Bandar-e-Jask, Iran at position 25:28N – 057:32E. Armed pirates attacked and boarded the underway vessel. The vessels Master alerted the crew by raising the alarm and the crew mustered in citadel. The pirates took crewmembers hostage and hijacked the ship. An Iranian warship responded and proceeded towards the vessel in response to the incident. The vessels Master requested that the warship not approach via VHF because it received death threats from the pirates. The Iranian ship proceeded to move closer and fire was exchanged between the pirates and the warship. The Iranian navy boarded the vessel and managed to detain nine pirates and saved the 28 crewmembers. (IMB)

GULF OF OMAN: Bulk Carrier was attacked on 4 April while underway 50 nm southeast of Ras Al Haad, Oman at position 21:37N – 059:59E was fired upon and chased by 4-6 pirates armed with automatic rifles. Ship’s Master raised the alarm, mustered the crew in the citadel and began evasive maneuvers and activated the ships distress signal as well. The security team onboard returned fire and the pirates aborted the mission and escaped. (IMB)


MALAYSIA: Tanker was boarded on 25 March in Pedra Branca, Malaysia at position 01:50N – 104:28E. 15 pirates armed with knives and guns boarded an underway tanker. The pirates chased the duty crew and entered the living spaces. They later mustered the crew and tied their hands. They later escaped with stolen effects 45 minutes later. One crewman was injured. (IMB)

INDONESIA: Chemical Tanker was boarded on 2 April in Dumai Inner Anchorage, Indonesia at position 01:42N – 103:27E. Three pirates armed with knives boarded the chemical tanker at anchorage and threatened the duty crew. The pirates later escaped with a stolen handheld radio and the incident was reported to an agent at Port Control. (IMB)

INDONESIA: Bulk Carrier was boarded on 7 April at the Muara Jawa Anchorage, Samarinda, Indonesia at position 01:11S – 117:11E. The anchored vessel was boarded by a group of pirates who entered the forward ships store. The pirates were sighted by the duty AB who alerted the D/O and the vessels alarm was raised and the pirates escaped with several items from the vessels ship store. (IMB)

INDONESIA: Chemical Tanker was boarded on 6 April while at anchorage in Dumai Inner Anchorage, Indonesia, at position 01:42N – 103:27E. Four pirates armed with long knives boarded the ship; alert crewman noticed the pirates and raised the alarm. The pirates escaped empty handed. (IMB)

Piracy Weather Forecast for APR 12-18

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 – 3 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: Easterly winds of 8 – 13 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 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. Winds expected to shift to easterly at 5 to 10 knots by 16 April.

ARABIAN SEA: Southwesterly winds of 10– 15 knots, with seas of 2 -4 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 southern Somali Basin region continue to impact area but overall conditions will remain marginal, with southerly winds of 5 – 10 knots, becoming southwesterly at 13 – 18 knots by 13 April, with seas of 1 – 3 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: Small boat operations off the Tanzania and Kenyan coast will have significant impacts as winds will remain southwesterly at 13 – 18 knots, with seas of 1 – 3 feet increasing to 5 – 7 feet by 15 April.

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 southerly at 8 – 13 knots with seas of 4 – 6 feet, increasing to 6 – 9 feet by 13 April. In the southern channel, winds will be southwesterly at 15 – 20 knots, with seas of 8 – 11 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: In the northern channel, expect southerly winds at 8 – 13 knots, with seas of 6 – 9 feet, decreasing to 2 – 4 feet by 16 April. In the southern channel, expect southwesterly winds of 15 – 20 knots, with seas of 8 – 11 feet, decreasing to 6 – 8 feet by 15 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.

This report was brought to you by the U.S. Office of Naval Research Maritime OPINTEL Report

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