07 January 2010

Somali Piracy Yearbook 2010 launched

Happy New Year. We close out 2009 and move this effort to the Somali Piracy Yearbook 2010 blogging site.

The paperback publication of Somali Piracy Yearbook for 2009 is out now.

31 December 2009

Incident: Crude tanker taken

A crude tanker, not otherwise identified, is hijacked in the Indian Ocean about 970 NM off Mogadishu. Some 28 crew are hostage as well. No details. (ICC/IMB Website)

30 December 2009

Incident: China proposes anti-pirate base

A Chinese rear admiral has proposed setting up an anti-piracy naval base off Somalia. Admiral Yin Zhou, in a post to a Ministry of Defense website, spoke of the difficulty faced by Chinese warships operating so far from home without a base. (BBC, 12/30/09)

Incident: Album attacked

The Album, a 105,000-ton Kuwaiti oil tanker, is attacked 800 NM off Somalia's north coast. A spokesman for the European Union naval force in the area said the attack lasted 30 minutes and caused no damage. (AP, 12/30/09)

29 December 2009

Incident: De Xin Hai released by pirates

A helicopter dropped a $4 million ransom on the deck of the De Xin Hai (12/27/09) in an attempt to ransome the ship, its crew of 25 and its cargo of coal (76,000 tonnes). The ship was taken October 19 in the Indian Ocean. (Daily Nation, 10/27/09)

China announced today that the vessel is heading home. (Xinhua, 12/29/09)

Incident: Ship fired upon

A ship sailing the Indian Ocean, not otherwise identified, is fired upon by pirates. No details. (American Public Media Marketplace, 12/3/0/09)

Incident: Navios Apollon taken

The Greek cargo ship Navios Apollon has been taken by pirates 240 NM northwest of the Seychelles. Ten pirates in two speedboats attacked the vessel, which had been carrying 19 crew and a cargo of fertilizer from Florida to India. (SETimes.com)

Incident: Oil tanker attacked

A Kuwaiti oil tanker, not otherwise identified, is attacked in the Gulf of Aden by pirates armed with rifles and rocket propelled grenades. The pirates, in a single skiff, chased the tanker, eventually breaking off the attack. (AFP)

The pirates sprayed their target with automatic rifle fire; there were no injuries or significant damage. (Journal of Commerce)

28 December 2009

Incident: St. James Park seized

Somali pirates have seized the British flagged tanker St. James Park and its crew of 26 en route from Thailand to Spain. (Journal of Commerce, 12/30/09)

Incident: Al Mahmoud 2 taken

The Yemeni cargo ship Al Mahmoud 2 has been taken by pirates, Yemen's defense ministry announced. The vessel had at least 15 people on board when it set off from Aden on 12/18. (BBC, 12/28/09)

It is a 149 m long vessel registered in Singapore. (vesseltracker.com)

Incident: De Xin Hai released

Chinese bulk carrier De Xin Hai is released after a reported ransom payment of $4 million. At the time of capture (10/19), its hijacking 700 miles east of Somalia was the farthest Somali pirate strike to date. (Wikipedia, "List of ships attacked by Somali pirates," 12/31/09)

Incident: Kota Wajar released

Singapore container ship Koto Wajar, captured 10/15/09 north of the Seychelles, is released near Haradere. "The Canadian warship HMCS FREDERICTON from TF 508 is now providing medical and logistical assisting to the KOTA WAJAR." (EU NAVFOR Public Affairs Office, 12/28/09)

China has claimed it rescued 25 crew. "Beijing made no mention of a ransom payment, despite reports that $4m (£2.5m) was delivered to pirates." (BBC, 12/28/09)

27 December 2009

Analysis: Reuters counts captured ships

Reuters tallies the ships in pirate hands as follows: Win far 161: Taiwanese tuna boat, seized on April 6, 2009.
Kota Wajar: Seized on October 15, 2009. The 24,637-tonne container ship, seized 300 miles north of Seychelles, was heading for Mombasa from Singapore and had 21 crew on board.

Al Khaliq - Seized on October 22, 2009. The Panamanian-registered ship carried 26 crew, 24 of them Indian. It is owned and operated by SNP Shipping of Mumbai. The 38,305 dwt bulk carrier was seized west of the Seychelles.

Thai Union 3 - Seized on October 29, 2009. Pirates on two skiffs boarded the tuna fishing boat with 23 Russians, two Filipinos and two Ghanaians on board. Filitsa: Seized on Nov. 10, 2009. The 23,709 dwt cargo ship had three Greek officers a Filipino crew. The Marshall Islands-flagged ship had been heading from Kuwait to Durban, South Africa, when it was attacked 500 miles northeast of the Seychelles.

Theresa VIII: Seized on Nov. 16, 2009. The chemical tanker was hijacked in the south Somali Basin, northwest of the Seychelles. The 22,294 dwt tanker had a crew of 28 North Koreans. The captain of the tanker died from gunshot wounds sustained during the hijack, a Somali pirate said.

Maran Centaurus: Seized Nov 29, 2009: The tanker was sailing from Kuwait to the Gulf of Mexico when it was seized near the Seychelles. The tanker had nine Greeks, two Ukrainians, one Romanian and 16 Filipinos on board.

Shahbaig: Seized Dec 6, 2009: Pirates seized the Pakistani-flagged fishing vessel, with a crew of 29 on board.
(Daily Nation, 12/27/09)

25 December 2009

Analysis: Attempts up, hijackings flat in '09

Figures released by the Internationa Maritime Bureau (IMB) as of mid-December show that although the number of Somali pirate attacks on shipping is dramatically up, the ratio of attacks to successful hijackings has slipped roughly by half.

The IMB counted 209 boarding attempts, 43 of them successful in 2009. In 2008, 111 reported attempts yielded 42 successes. Spokesman for the European Union naval forces on the scene, CDR John Harbour, said "A lot more ships would have been taken if we weren't there." (AP, 12/25/09)

16 December 2009

Incident: CTF 150 gets new commander

Australian Navy Commodore Richard Menhinick has replaced Pakistan Navy Rear Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah as commander of the Combined Task Force 150 as a result of the scheduled twice per year command rotation. CTF 150 is the anti-terrorist force tasked with the extra duty of pirate disruption. It was supplemented at the start of this year with CTF 151, exclusively devoted to anti-piracy. (Gulf Daily News, 12/17/09)