Weekly Piracy Update: Raise the Alarm!

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April 5, 2012

Weekly Incidents by Region: MAR 29 – APR 4

WEST AFRICA

TOGO: Petroleum products tank experienced an attempted boarding on 4 April while anchored at position 06:05 N – 001:15 E, Lome Anchorage. Ten robbers in a boat came alongside and attempted to board the ship. Alert duty officer raised alarm and informed Togo Navy authorities and directed the search light towards the boat resulting in the boat moving towards another vessel in the anchorage. A short while later, another boat with six robbers approached this same tanker at high speed. Alarm once again raised and crew alerted. Seeing crew alertness and razor wire around the ship, the robbers again moved away. Ship’s Master weighed anchor and proceeded to a safer distance away from the area. (IMB)

INDIAN OCEAN–EAST AFRICA

ARABIAN SEA: Bulk carrier attacked on 4 April while underway at position 21:38 N – 059:59 E, approximately 130 nm southeast of Muscat, Oman. Pirates in one skiff fired upon the vessel and security team aboard the merchant vessel returned fire, forcing the pirates to move away. (UKMTO)

MOZAMBIQUE: Chemical Tanker at berth was boarded on 29 March at 19:48 S-034:07 E, Jetty No.12, Beira Port. Duty crewman noticed one robber armed with a knife aboard the vessel and raised the alarm. Upon hearing the alarm, the pirate escaped with stolen ship’s stores with an accomplice piloting a waiting canoe. (IMB)

SOUTHEAST ASIA

INDONESIA: Chemical tanker boarded on 3 April while anchored at position 01:41 N – 101:29 E, Dumai Anchorage. Duty crew onboard spotted two robbers armed with long knives. And immediately informed the duty officer who raised the alarm and sounded the ships whistle. Seeing crew alertness, the robbers escaped. Port control contacted with no response. (IMB)

INDONESIA: Bulk carrier boarded on 2 April while berthed at 03:23 N – 099:27 E, Jetty No.3, Multimas Nabati Asahan, Kuala Tanjung. Two robbers armed with long knives boarded the vessel during cargo operations and entered the engine room via the steering room entrance. The duty oiler noticed the robbers and tried to activate the fire alarm but the robbers threatened him with a knife and took him hostage. The robbers escaped with stolen ship stores. The alarm was raised and the robbery was reported to the authorities who came onboard to conduct a full investigation. (IMB)

Piracy Weather Forecast: APR 5 – 11

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

GULF OF ADEN: Moderate conditions will persist throughout the period. Expect variable winds of 5 – 10 knots and seas of 2 – 4 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: Variable winds of 5 – 10 knots, with seas of 2– 4 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. Southeasterly winds at 5 – 10 knots and seas of 2 – 4 feet will predominate. EXTENDED FORECAST: Winds will maintain southeasterly at 5 – 10 knots, with seas of 2 – 4 feet.

ARABIAN SEA: Southerly winds of 5– 10 knots, with seas of 1 -3 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: Southerly winds of 5 – 10 knots, becoming southwesterly at 5 to 10 knots by 8 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 northeasterly winds of 5 – 10 knots and seas of 1 – 3 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: Small boat operations off the Tanzania and Kenyan coast will have minimal impacts as winds will remain northeasterly at 5 – 10 knots, becoming southeasterly at 9 April, with seas of 1 – 3 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 northerly at 5 – 10 knots with seas of 4 – 6 feet. In the southern channel, winds will be southwesterly at 5 – 10 knots, with seas of 8 – 12 feet. EXTENDED FORECAST: In the northern channel, expect northerly winds at 5 – 10 knots, becoming easterly at 5 – 10 knots by 8 April, with seas of 4 – 6 feet, decreasing to 1 – 3 feet by 8 April. In the southern channel, expect southwesterly winds of 5 – 10 knots, with seas of 9 – 12 feet, decreasing to 3 – 5 feet by 9 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 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 is brought to you by the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence Weekly Maritime OPINTEL Report

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