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)

13 December 2009

Incident: Italians take command of Atalanta

Italy has taken command of the EU's Atalanta operation from the Dutch in a change of command ceremony. Task Force 465 will be run from the newly designated flagship, Italy's Etna, "a naval replenishment and logistic support ship." (Press release, 12/13/09)

12 December 2009

Analysis: Lynn Rival uproar endangers minister

The UK government's decision not to rescue the Lynn Rival's owners, the Chandlers, has caused a press uproar that threatens the defense minister's portfolio.
On October 29, the MoD said the Navy had found the Lynn Rival, but made no mention that the [naval vessel] Wave Knight was 50 yards away as the Chandlers were taken off it. On November 17, First Sea Lord Sir Mark Stanhope said the Wave Knight did not have 'special expertise to deal with hostage rescue'. On November 29, it emerged that the Marine rescue force was on board, despite Sir Mark's claims.
The situation is aggravated by hostage videos released by the pirates. Rachel Chandler is shown above in a video still. Lynn Rival, a sailboat, was taken 10/23/09. (Mail Online, 12/12/09)

10 December 2009

Analysis: EU NAVFOR announces "year of success"

EU NAVFOR celebrated its first year of operations with a cake and the declaration that "This has been a period of success for EU Naval Force."
Admiral Hudson, the Operational Commander of EU NAVFOR stated that “while piracy cannot be defeated at sea alone, much is being done in Europe to bring stability to Somalia. We have been very successful in capturing pirates and pirate activity has been severely disrupted”.
Some of the highlights:

* "Sharing of information through the Shared Awareness and Deconfliction Conferences (SHADE), has been extremely successful and this cooperation is bringing together national navies not normally associated with the EU, NATO and CMF."

* "The establishment of the International Recognised Transit Corridor in the Gulf of Aden has been a great achievement in the management and provision of protection to commercial shipping transiting these dangerous waters."

* "Effective communication with the commercial shipping community has been established through the establishment of Maritime Security Centre, Horn of Africa (MSCHOA), a website system that allows EU Naval Force to provide Best Management Practice anti piracy advice to commercial shipping and information in the form of warnings and alerts of pirate threats."

* "The establishment of a secure internet based communications system called Mercury also provides connectivity between EU NAVFOR, NATO and CMF as well as an impressive array of international states such as China, India, Japan and Russia."

Oddly, the force continues to list its primary mission as defense of World Food Programme shipments, with a secondary mission "deter and disrupt piracy." Third on its list is "to protect vulnerable shipping." (Press release, 12/10/09)

Incident: Ariana released

The Greek-owned cargo ship Ariana is released after ransom payment. The Ukrainian crew of 24 was pronounced in good health by a spokesman for Alloceans Shipping, the ship's owners. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko clled negotiations "very difficult." Unidentified pirate sources disclosed nearly $3 million was paid for the release. (BBC, 12/10/09)

The horrors of Ariana's crew in captivity were widely reported in the Spanish press and unremarked by the BBC in its new reporting. See entries under 11/22/09.

07 December 2009

Incident: Bulk carrier fired upon, catches fire

A bulk carrier, not otherwise identified, is fired upon in the Indian Ocean about 1000 NM east of Mogadishu.
Pirates in two skiffs chased and fired automatic weapons and RPG on a bulk carrier underway because of which a fire broke out on deck. The vessel increased speed and made evasive manoeuvres and sent distress message. The crew managed to contain the fire once the skiffs moved away. Later, the skiffs aborted the attack...
(ICC/IMB Website)

Incident: Crude tanker fired upon

A crude tanker, not otherwise identified, is fired upon in the Gulf of Aden. Two skiffs had pursued their quarry before opening up with automatic weapons. The tanker successfully applied evasive action.

06 December 2009

Incident: Fishing vessel taken

A fishing vessel with 29 crew is hijacked in the Indian Ocean about 1020 NM northeast of Mogadishu. No details. (ICC/IMB Website)

02 December 2009

Incident: General cargo vessel fired upon

A general cargo vessel, not otherwise identified, is fired upon in the Gulf of Aden. The ship's crew "spotted a mother vessel at a distance of 6nm. The mother vessel was seen to launch two skiffs, which approached the vessel at a speed of 14 knots." the intended victim radioed for help. "The skiff on port side approached the vessel close to 15 meters and fired automatic weapons. Ten minutes later, the skiff aborted the attempt and regrouped with the mother vessel." (ICC/IMB Website)

01 December 2009

Incident: Crude tanker fired upon

A crude tanker, not otherwise identified, is fired upon in the Indian Ocean about 1200 NM northeast of Mogadishu.
Pirates in a skiff armed with guns chased and opened fire on a tanker underway. The pirates attempted to board from port side but failed and then tried to board from stbd side. The use of water jets from fire hoses and evasive manoeuvres made the pirates abort the attempt.
(ICC/IMB Website)

30 November 2009

Incident: Maran Centaurus taken

The Greek-owned tanker Maran Centaurus is captured 800 NM east of Somalia with a load of oil worth $140 million. (Wikipedia, "List of ships attacked by Somali pirates," 12/31/09)

It was en route from Saudi Arabia to the USA and taken by a party of nine men. "The 28 crewmen are safe and well according to a spokesman from the Greek managing company, Maran Tankers Management." (The Times, 12/01/09)

Incident: Ortube Berria chased, fights back

The Spanish fishing ship Ortube Berria is chased for half an hour in the Indian Ocean by pirates in two skiffs armed with rifles and rocket propelled grenades. "They would not give up. They simply would not give up," the captain said. "If we had not been armed, they would have caught us." Security guards fired upon the pirates, causing them to break off the attack. (AP, 12/02/09)

26 November 2009

Incident: Container ship fired upon

A container ship, not otherwise identified, is fired upon in the Indian Ocean about 470 NM off Mogadishu.
Pirates armed with RPG and machine guns in two skiffs chased and fired upon a container ship underway with intent to hijack her. Master raised alarm, activated SSAS, increased speed and took evasive manoeuvres. The pirates continued to chase and fire at the ship for around three hours before aborting. No injuries to crew.
(ICC/IMB Website)

24 November 2009

Incident: Crude tanker fired upon

A crude tanker, not otherwise identified, is fired upon in the Indian Ocean about 100 NM east of Mogadishu. "Four pirates in a skiff fired upon and attempted to board a tanker underway. Ship sustained damages on stbd side of wheelhouse window. Pirates aborted the attempt after about 35 minutes of chasing. No injuries to crew." (ICC/IMB Website)

22 November 2009

Incident: Horrors on Ariana reported

The captain of the Spanish trawler Alakrana, Ricardo Blach, released 11/17/09 by pirates, "said he is haunted by his failure to save a 12-year-old Ukrainian girl held captive for more than six months."
During his captivity, Blach boarded a second vessel, the cargo ship Ariana, to hand over supplies including medicines and fuel. Somali pirates have been holding the Ariana with its Ukrainian crew for around half a year. On board the ship, Blach saw the blue-eyed Ukrainian girl with her mother and her father, who was a member of the ship's crew. "Her mother begged me to take (her daughter) with me," Blach wrote in his logbook. "I told her that I couldn't. On her ship, the Ariana, there were 12 pirates. On mine, the Alakrana, 30," he said, adding: "I have not stopped thinking about this girl, about the women in this boat."
(AFP, 11/22/09)

In a compilation of Spanish press reports, Wikipedia adds the following details:
One of the abducted women, Larisa Salinska, 39 years old ship's cook, was raped by pirates. Then she had a miscarriage (it is unknown if she became pregnant as a result of the rape or not) with a large hemorrhage, heavy infection, and serious health problems. The Alakrana’s skipper tried to convey to the Ariana medicines to help Salinska, but Adan Jama, one of the pirates who had hijacked the Spanish ship, threw overboard those medicines. Also, according to the testimony ... the girl wich twelve years old was raped by a pirate...
(Wikipedia, "List of ships attacked by Somali pirates," 12/31/09)

20 November 2009

Incident: Almezaan released

The Panama-flagged cargo ship Al Mezaan, taken 11/11, is released by Somali pirates. "It was claimed that it was carrying weapons but this was denied by her owners. A $3,000,000 dollar ransom was demanded, but a lower amount was paid." (Wikipedia, "List of ships attacked by Somali pirates," 12/31/09)

Incident: Bulk carrier fired upon

A bulk carrier, not otherwise identified, is fired upon in the Indian Ocean by "Eight pirates in one craft and four pirates in another craft, armed with machine guns and RPG."
They fired at the vessel with machine guns and RPG and attempted to board her. Master raised alarm, increased speed made aggressive evasive manoeuvres, crew activated anti-piracy measures and finally managed to evade the attempted boarding. Ship’s bridge glasses damaged and sustained bullet holes around accommodation. No injuries to crew members.
(ICC/IMB Website)

Incident: Crude tanker fired upon

A crude tanker, not otherwise identified, is chased and fired upon in the Indian Ocean about 1050 NM from Mogadishu.
Six pirate boats with a mother vessel in sight chased and opened fire upon an oil tanker underway. Two RPGs penetrated into port bridge door. Ships sustained damages and one crew was injured. Pirates aborted the attempt after about three hours of chasing.
(ICC/IMB Website)

19 November 2009

Incident: Bulk carrier fired upon

A bulk carrier, not otherwise identified, is fired upon in the Gulf of Aden.
Pirates armed with guns in a boat chased and attempted to board ... Master raised alarm, called warships for assistance, took evasive manoeuvres and crew mustered. The pirates directed searchlight at the ship and suddenly opened fire and ordered the ship to stop ... to conduct search. Master replied, “cannot stop” and continued with the evasive manoeuvres. The pirates finally gave up the chase after 40 minutes. No injuries to crew.
(ICC/IMB Website)

18 November 2009

Incident: Hijacked captain dies

The captain of the Theresa VIII, hijacked 11/05/09, has died of wounds suffered during the hijacking, pirates have told Reuters. "The ship is headed for Harardhere with the dead captain," the source said. No details. (BBC, 11/18/09)

Incident: Maersk Alabama attacked again

A container ship, not otherwise identified, is fired upon while sailing 600 NM NE of Mogadishu in the Indian Ocean.
Pirates armed with guns chased and fired upon a container ship underway with intent to hijack. Crew took all anti-piracy measures and the onboard security team returned fire. The pirates finally aborted and moved away.
(ICC/IMB Website)

This appears to be the Maersk Alabama, which was hijacked in April. (BBC, 11/18/09)

17 November 2009

Incident: Red Sea Spirit attacked

The Greek owned, Panamanian flagged bulk carrier Red Sea Spirit is taken 36 NM off Balhaf, Yemen. (Reuters, 11/22/09)

"Pirates did not hijack Panama-flagged vessel Red Sea Spirit belonging to Greek company Secure Hold, said Sunday representative of Greek Coast Guard to RIA Novosti." (rusnavy.com, 11/23/09)

Wikipedia shows the ship taken on 11/17/09.

Incident: Alakrana released

The Spanish trawler Alakrana is released.
Following a request by the Spanish government, Port Victoria has offered safe harbor to the released vessel. The release of the vessel marks the end of protracted negotiations led by the Spanish government in coordination with other partners for the release of the vessel and its crew.
(African Press Office, 11/18/09)

Linked to the negotiations were the fate of two pirates captured and taken to Spain after the incident. Pirates holding Alakrana demanded $4 million and the release of their comrades. The Alakrana crew was released without the pirates being freed. Spanish papers report that pirate families were given $50,000. (Wikipedia, "List of ships attacked by Somali pirates," 12/31/09)

Pirates told reporters $3.5 million was paid. (Reuters via Barcelonareporter.com, undated)

16 November 2009

Incident: Chemical tanker taken

A chemical tanker, not otherwise identified, is hijacked in the Indian Ocean by "pirates armed with machineguns." The captured cre number 28. the strike occured 600 NM southeast of Mogadishu. (ICC/IMB Website)

Incident: General cargo ship fired upon

A general cargo ship, not otherwise identified, is fired upon in the Gulf of Aden.
Pirates armed with guns in two speed boats chased and fired upon a general cargo ship underway. Ship raised alarm, contacted warships, increased speed and took evasive manoeuvres and finally managed to evade the attempted boarding. No injuries to crew.
(ICC/IMB Website)

13 November 2009

Incident: RoRo chased

A RoRo vessel, not otherwise identified, is chased in the Indian Ocean about 810 NM south of Mogadishu. "Pirates in two small boats armed with guns chased a Ro-Ro ship underway with intent to hijack her. Ship raised alarm, informed flag state authorities who informed the coalition forces." The target vessel evaded boarding via increased speed and evasive action. (ICC/IMB Website)

12 November 2009

Incident: Bulk carrier fired upon

A bulk carrier, not otherwise identified, is fired upon in the Gulf of Aden. Firing with assault rifles preceded a boarding attempt. The intended victim escaped pursuit through evasive action. (ICC/IMB Website)

11 November 2009

Incident: Almezaan taken

The Panama flagged cargo ship Almezaan is taken off the Somali coast. No details. (Wikipedia, "List of ships attacked by Somali pirates," 12/31/09)

Incident: Filitsa taken

The bulk carrier Filitsa is taken in the Indian Ocean "approximately 500NM northeast of Port Victoria, Seychelles. According to the owners, pirates boarded the vessel and all communication with the crew has ceased. There are 22 crewmembers onboard of Greek and Filipino nationality." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 11/11/09)The 150 m long ship is registered in the Marshall Islands. (vesseltracker.com)

10 November 2009

Incident: Nele Maersk fired upon

The container ship Nele Maersk is fired upon in the Indian Ocean by men giving chase in two skiffs armed with rifles and rocket propelled grenades. "The vessel increased speed, conducted evasive maneuvers, and successfully deterred the attack after 30 minutes. Coalition forces were informed." The incident occurred "approximately 455NM northeast of Port Victoria, Seychelles." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 11/11/09)

he Nele Maersk is of Danish registry and is 199 m in length. (vesseltracker.com)

Incident: Felicitas Rickmers fired upon

The container ship Felicitas Rickmers is fired upon by two skiffs in the Indian Ocean "approximately 500NM southeast of Kismayo, Somalia. The vessel reported being under attack by two skiffs. Shots were fired, but no damage was reported. The vessel conducted evasive maneuvers and prevented being boarded." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 11/11/09) Felicitas Rickmers is 206 m long and registered in the Marshall Islands. (vesseltracker.com)

09 November 2009

Incident: BW Lion fired upon

The tanker BW Lion is fired upon by men in two skiffs firing rifles and rocket propelled grenades. "The master increased speed, conducted evasive maneuvers, deployed self protection measures, and successfully deterred the attack after one hour. Coalition forces were informed. The vessel sustained minor damages." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 11/11/09)

BW Lion is registered in Hong Kong. (vesseltracker.com)

07 November 2009

Incident: Cargo ship attacked

Sailing in the Gulf of Aden, a general cargo ship, not otherwise identified, is fired upon by six men in a skiff armed with rifles and rocket propelled grenades. "The men attempted to board the vessel using a ladder but were unable to due to the vessel’s freeboard and effective counter-measure taken by the crew." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 11/11/09)

05 November 2009

Incident: Theresa VIII taken

The Singapore-flagged chem tanker Theresa VIII is taken "180 nautical miles northwest of the Seychelles, on its way to Mombasa, Kenya. The crew of the vessel was comprised entirely of North Koreans." (Wikipedia, "List of ships attacked by Somali pirates," 12/31/09)

The ship is 56 meters long and flies under Kiribati's colors. (vesseltracker.com)

Incident: Delvina taken

The bulk carrier Delvina is hijacked in the Indian Ocean "approximately 690NM south of Mogadishu, Somalia. The owners reported the vessel came under attack and was boarded by pirates." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 11/11/09)

The 190 m long ship is registered in the Marshall Islands (vesseltracker.com)

The Greek-owned ship was en route to Mombasa. (Wikipedia, "List of ships attacked by Somali pirates," 12/31/09)

Incident: Cargo ship attacked

A general cargo ship sailing the Gulf of Aden (not otherwise identified) is pursued by a speedboat with four armed men aboard who try to board the target vessel. "The men in the speedboat eventually aborted the pursuit due to effective counter-piracy measures." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 11/11/09)

Incident: BBC Thames attacked

The Liberian cargo ship BBC Thames is attacked in the Indian Ocean.
EU NAVFOR German warship (FGS BREMEN) was immediately tasked to support the cargo ship and the BREMEN’s helicopter was launched. The attackers fled but BREMEN found a skiff in the vicinity and on sighting the helicopter the skiff stopped. FGS BREMEN conducted a boarding where weapons, ammunition and RPG grenades were found and seized EU NAVFOR German warship (FGS BREMEN) was immediately tasked to support the cargo ship and the BREMEN’s helicopter was launched. The attackers fled but BREMEN found a skiff in the vicinity and on sighting the helicopter the skiff stopped. FGS BREMEN conducted a boarding where weapons, ammunition and RPG grenades were found and seized.
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 11/11/09)

Incident: Theoforus I attacked

The Panamanian flagged bulk carrier Theoforus I is attacked in the Indian Ocean. Pirates armed with rifles and rocket propelled grenades pursue the sip, which evaded the pirates until TCG Ediz arrived, a Turkish warship under NATO command. "The warship neutralized a suspected skiff in the vicinity of the attack position and weapons and pirate paraphernalia were seized." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 11/11/09)

02 November 2009

Incident: Harriette fired upon

The bulk carrier Harriette is fired upon by twelve armed men in two skiffs giving chase in the Indian Ocean 270 NM off Kismayo. "The men were unable to hook their ladder onto the vessel’s side. The master increased speed and carried out evasive maneuvers while activating fire hoses. After approximately 20 minutes the men abandoned the attempt. The vessel sustained bullet holes but no crewmembers were injured." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 11/11/09) Harriette is 173 m long and registered in the USA. (vesseltracker.com)

Incident: Jo Cedar fired upon

The chemical tanker Jo Cedar, sailing the Indian Ocean, is fired upon by armed men in a skiff while men in two additional skiffs stand by. Jo Cedar "increased speed and conducted evasive maneuvers until the skiff abandoned the attack. The ship sustained bullet holes, but no crewmembers were reported injured." The attack occurred 530NM southeast of Mombasa. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 11/11/09)

Jo Cedar is 183 m long and registered in the Netherlands. (vesseltracker.com)

31 October 2009

Incident: Pirates claim success in battle

Pirates claim to have seized a Yemeni fishing vessel after a gun battle that left one pirate dead and one wounded. The location of the incident was not named and the prize was taken to Eyl. (Reuters, 10/31/09)

Incident: Avel Vad fired upon

The fishing vessel Avel Vad, while in the Indian Ocean 370NM east of Mogadishu, is chased and fired upon by men in two blue skiffs. "They aborted the attack after warning shots were returned from a security team onboard the fishing vessel." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 11/11/09)

"Soldiers aboard the [French] tuna boat fired fireworks and warning shots at the pirates, scaring them off." (SAPA)

Incident: Bulk carrier fired upon

A bulk carrier in the Gulf of Aden, not otherwise identified, is fired upon by men in two skiffs: "due to effective counter piracy measures, the two skiffs aborted the attempt and moved away." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 11/11/09)

29 October 2009

Incident: Thai Union taken

A fishing vessel, the Thai Union, is taken by pirates in the Indian Ocean 165 NM north of Port Victoria, the Seychelles.
Armed pirates in two skiffs approached the vessel from both sides. The vessel took evasive maneuvers and sent a distress message which was received by the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre and relayed to coalition naval forces to render assistance. A warship was dispatched to the location, but the pirates were able to board and hijack the vessel.
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 11/11/09)

27 October 2009

Incident: Cap Saint Vincent attacked

The European Union Naval Force reports pirates in two skiffs attack the French fishing vessel Cap Saint Vincent in the Indian Ocean 350 miles off Mogadishu.
French military personnel aboard the trawler ... returned fire, French military spokesman Rear Adm. Christophe Prazuck said. It did not appear that any of the shots hit the pirates, he said. A German warship was dispatched to the scene, as was a helicopter, which fired warning shots at the pirates, who then were seen throwing items overboard. Once the warship arrived, seven pirates were detained, the EU Naval Force said. "We've got them on board and we will prosecute them."
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 11/11/09)

25 October 2009

Incident: Container ship fired upon

A container ship, not otherwise identified, is fired upon by "six men armed with machineguns" in a white speedboat after a chase. "The master raised the alarm, conducted counter-piracy preventive measures, and increased to maximum speed. At
a distance of about three cables, the men started firing at the vessel. The men eventually aborted the attack, and the vessel continued underway at maximum speed." The incident occurred 350 NM SE of Mombasa in the Indian Ocean. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 11/11/09)

23 October 2009

Incident: Lynn Rival taken

The sailboat Lynn Rival is hijacked 60NM west of Port Victoria, the Seychelles, en route to Tanzania. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 11/11/09)

Authorities later confirmed that a yacht towing a skiff is the Lynn Rival and Somali officials say that the couple aboard the craft are being held hostage in Harardhere. (Guardian, 10/29/09)

Lynn Rival was sailing from the Seychelles to Tanzania. The crew was moved to another hijacked vessel,
the container ship MV Kota Wajah moored off Ceel Huur, Somalia. It was later revealed that Royal Navy personnel on board RFA Wave Knight witnessed the transfer of the two crew from the Lynn Rival, but did not intervene for fear of causing casualties among the kidnapped couple. A ransom of $7,000,000 (£4,300,000) has been demanded.
(Wikipedia, "List of ships attacked by Somali pirates," 12/31/09)

22 October 2009

Incident: Jolly Rosso fired upon

The RoRo ship Jolly Rosso is fired upon by men in two skiffs armed with rifles and rocket propelled grenades while sailing the Indian Ocean 320 NM southeast of Kismayo, Kenya. The ship increased speed and began evasive action after which the attack was broken off.(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 11/11/09)

Jolly Rosso is registered in Italy. (vesseltracking.com)

Incident: Al Khaliq taken

The bulk carrier Al Khaliq is taken by hijackers with 26 crew aboard after a chase by six pirates on two skiffs. The pirates were armed with rifles and rocket propelled grenades which they fired at their target. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 11/11/09)

Al Khaliq is 179 m long and registered in Panama. (vesseltracker.com)

The ship is Indian owned and was en route from Novorossiysk, Russia to Mombasa, Kenya. (Wikipedia, "List of ships attacked by Somali pirates," 12/31/09)

19 October 2009

Incident: De Xin Hai taken

The bulk carrier De Xin Hai is taken by pirates in the Indian Ocean "approximately 325NM northeast of Port Victoria, Seychelles. Pirates boarded and hijacked the vessel while underway. There are 25 crew members onboard." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 10/21/09)

De Xin Hai is a 225 m long cargo ship registered in China. (vesseltracker.com)

16 October 2009

Incident: Thor Spring attacked

The general cargo ship Thor Spring is attacked in the Gulf of Aden by five to six men pursuing their target in a skiff. The pirates fired upon Thor Spring, damaging "funnel, stern area, and accommodation," but gave up their pursuit after 40 minutes. The cargo ship's crew activated fire hoses and strung barbed wire along the railing as the captain took evasive action. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 10/21/09) Thor Spring is 73 m long and registered in Malta. (vesseltracker.com)

15 October 2009

Incident: Koto Wajar taken

The container ship Koto Wajar is taken "approximately 190NM north of Port Victoria, Seychelles. Owners of the vessel received a call stating that the vessel has been attacked and hijacked." No details. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 10/21/09)

12 October 2009

Incident: Vessel pursued

A vessel sailing the Gulf of Aden, not otherwise identified, is approached by a fishing craft which then launches a blue and white skiff containing five armed men. "The skiff approached the vessel with a speed of approximately 20 kts but stopped and abandoned the pursuit at a distance of 0.2NM. The incident lasted approximately 25 minutes." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 10/21/09)

11 October 2009

Incident: Container ship pursued

Six men in masks use a 21-foot white speedboat to pursue a container ship, not otherwise identified, in the Gulf of Oman 30 NM from Jask, Iran. After forty minuted of evasive action by the target, the attack was broken off. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 10/21/09)

10 October 2009

Incident: Fishing vessels fired upon

The fishing vessels Drennec and Glenan are attacked an hour apart 160-165 NM off Port Victoria, Seychelles. Drennec was attacked first:
Vessel reported coming under fire from two skiffs, one white and one blue. A security team onboard the fishing vessel returned fire, forcing the skiffs to abandon the attack. Coast guard vessels from the nearby Seychelles archipelago pursued one of the skiffs and disabled the engine.
An hour later Glenan
reported coming under fire from two skiffs, shortly after the skiffs reportedly opened fire on the fishing vessel (DRENNEC). A security team onboard fired warning shots, forcing the skiffs to abandon the attack.
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 10/21/09)

Drennec and Glenan were fishing for Tuna and each had a detail of French marines providing security.
It seems to be clear that the French marines on board of re-flagged French vessels now sailing under the flag of the Seychelles have the authority to use military force and firearms inside the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Seychelles. Some maritime lawyers however foresee legal complications with the use of firearms by the French against Somali nationals in Somali vessels, within or outside the Seychelles EEZ.
(ECOTERRA – SMCM, 10/13/09)

07 October 2009

Incident: Tanker pursued

A tanker in the Gulf of Aden, not otherwise identified, is pursued by men in three skiffs. "The vessel increased speed, conducted evasive maneuvers, and enforced counter-piracy measures while contacting coalition forces. The skiffs eventually aborted their pursuit and moved away." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 10/21/09)

06 October 2009

Incident: Pirates attack French naval ship

The French navy's 3,800-ton refueling ship La Somme is fired upon by five Somali pirates while sailing the Indian Ocean. The pirates mistook the vessel for a civilian target and were taken prisoner. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 10/21/09)

05 October 2009

Incident: Bulk carrier fired upon

A bulk carrier, not otherwise identified, is fired upon in the Gulf of Aden during a boarding attempt by five armed pirates in two skiffs.
Alarm raised and evasive manoeuvres carried out, parachute signals fired, SSAS activated and coalition warship contacted. Pirates fired a RPG, which damaged the starboard bridge wing and captains office. Pirates aborted the attempt to board. Later a warship and aircraft arrived and chased the pirate boats.
(ICC/IMB Website)

Incident: Horizon 1 released

The Turkish cargo ship Horizon 1 has been released following payment of a $2.75 million ransom by a British negotiator. Horizon 1 had been taken on July 8. (Wikipedia, "List of ships attacked by Somali pirates," 12/31/09)

According to a Turkish-language article in the newspaper Hurriyet,
While the ship's owner gave permission to the Turkish Navy for freeing the vessel and her crew by forced intervention, the Turkish government rejected this option due to lack of procedures in case of getting hold of the pirates. The Turkish officials rather preferred to contact Kenyan authorities for legal assistance, who have more experience in handling pirates from Somalia.
("MV Horizon-1," Wikipedia, 12/31/09)

04 October 2009

Incident: Hoegh Pusan fired upon

Hoegh Pusan, a vehicle carrier, is fired upon in the Indian Ocean 150 NM north of the Seychelles.
Two unlit boats chased the vessel from astern and opened fire. The master increased speed, conducted evasive maneuvers, started the fire pump and switched on all deck lights. The master contacted coalition forces, increased speed, headed into the wind and activated the SSAS alarm. After approximately 10 minutes, the boats fell behind and the vessel moved away. No injuries to the crew were reported.
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 10/21/09) Hoegh Pusan, 178 m in length, is registered in Singapore. (vesseltracker.com)

02 October 2009

Incident: Alakrana taken

The fishing ship Alakrana is taken while 330NM southeast of Mogadishu. "Armed pirates attacked and hijacked the vessel. The vessel is currently anchored off the coast of Harardhere." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 10/21/09)

"Two pirates were seized and brought to Spain. Pirates demanded both a four million Euro ransom and for the two pirates to be released." (Wikipedia, "List of ships attacked by Somali pirates," 12/31/09)

26 September 2009

Incident: Attack on bulk carrier thwarted

A bulk carrier in the Gulf of Aden, not otherwise identified, is chased by armed men. The carrier, adopting evasive action, notifies Coalition forces, which send a helicopter to drive off the pursuers. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 9/30/09)

Incident: Bulk carrier fired upon

A bulk carrier, not otherwise identified, was fired upon in the Gulf of Aden by four armed men giving chase. "The vessel master increased speed, conducted evasive maneuvers and alerted coalition forces. The armed men fled the area upon the arrival of a coalition warship." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 9/30/09)

Incident: Bulk carrier fired upon

A bulk carrier, not otherwise identified, is fired upon by eight men in two fast craft in the Gulf of Aden displaying intention to board.
The master raised the alarm, conducted evasive maneuvers, fired parachute flares, activated the SSAS and contacted coalition warships on VHF radio seeking assistance. Sea water was run on deck and the crew locked themselves in the bridge. The armed men began firing at the bridge before aborting the attempt when a coalition warship arrived on scene. A coalition helicopter surveyed the bulk carrier to assure no pirates were on board before the vessel resumed course
. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 9/30/09)

24 September 2009

Incident: Captain killed by gunfire

The captain of the Barwaqo is killed near the port of Mogadishu. "According to local authorities, armed gangs attacked the vessel as it was heading into port. Local police were called in and an exchange in gunfire occurred in which the vessel’s captain was killed. Police were able to thwart the attackers and the vessel was towed into port." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 10/21/09)

20 September 2009

Incident: Armed guards fire upon pirates

A general cargo vessel, not otherwise identified, is approached in the Gulf of Aden by seven armed men in a skiff.
Ship activated anti piracy measures, armed guards onboard exchanged fire with the pirates. The pirates aborted the attempt were seen heading towards the Yemeni coast. All ships in the vicinity and coalition warship were informed via VHF radio.
(ICC/IMB Website)

Incident: BBC Portugal rescued by Australians

An Australian warship intercepts a Somali pirate craft "stalking" the BBC Portugal in the Gulf of Aden.
Commander Ivan Ingham said officers from his ship (HMAS TOOWOOMBA) boarded the pirate ship after responding to a distress call in the Gulf on Sunday night. A surveillance plane and helicopter sent ahead of the (TOOWOOMBA) confirmed reports from the merchant ship (BBC PORTUGAL) that it was being chased by a high-speed vessel full of armed men, he said. "On reaching the suspect vessel, Toowoomba launched her boarding team to investigate, search, disarm and seize," Ingham said. "The boarding party was instructed to disarm the suspect pirates and confiscate their lethal military weapons." A rocket-propelled grenade launcher, six AK47 assault rifles and a G3 assault rifle were taken, as well as a large quantity of ammunition. The men said they were from Somalia but denied planning to attack the (BBC PORTUGAL), despite being seen disposing of a ladder as the helicopter and plane approached, Ingham said. Once the pirate ship had been cleared of weapons he said the (TOOWOOMBA) confirmed it had sufficient food, water and fuel for the return journey to Somalia and ordered them out of the shipping zone. It was the ship's first such encounter since arriving in the Gulf of Aden from the Northern Arabian Sea on a counter-piracy mission two weeks ago, he added.
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 9/30/09)

19 September 2009

Incident: Bulk carrier fired upon

A bulk carrier, not otherwise identified, is fired upon in the Gulf of Aden by seven men in a white skiff who attempted to board but were deterred by evasive action. A coalition helicopter's arrival caused the attackers to break off. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 9/30/09)

Six pirates "armed with guns"
in a small white coloured speedboat, attempted to attack a bulk carrier underway in a convoy with two other ships. Master altered course, contacted coalition warships for assistance and crew activated anti-piracy measures. Pirates chased the ship for 20 minutes and aborted the attempt upon arrival of a coalition helicopter.
(ICC/IMB Website)

18 September 2009

Incident: Container vessel evades boarding

A container vessel operating in the Gulf of Aden but not otherwise identified is approached by men "in a small boat" to a distance of five meters. "Alarm raised and crew alerted. Pirates aborted the attempt..." (ICC/IMB Website)

16 September 2009

Incident: Crude tanker chased

A crude tanker operating in the Red Sea (not otherwise identified) is chased by two high speed craft. "The tanker altered course to keep the boats in the wake. Later the boats aborted the attempt." (ICC/IMB Website)

14 September 2009

Incident: Irene released

The cargo ship Irene, captured on 9/14/09, is released after payment of a reported $2 million ransom. (Wikipedia, "List of ships attacked by Somali pirates," 12/31/09)

09 September 2009

Incident: Warning issued to mariners

With the end of the monsoon season, the the US Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration has warned of an increase in Somali piracy.
“We must apply the lessons learned from the crew of the Maersk Alabama,” said Acting Maritime Administrator David Matsuda, referring to the U.S. crew that escaped pirates last spring. “We are urging mariners to take defensive measures and not surrender at the first sign of a threat.” The advisory not only warns vessels to avoid routes where attacks have taken place, but also recommends that mariners “demonstrate a willingness to defend yourself.” Today’s update encourages mariners to travel at “maximum sustainable speed” through “high threat areas” and to continually conduct risk assessments during their voyage. The advisory also gives mariners information on how best to check in with authorities and how to request escort service in a convoy.
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 8/19/09)

08 September 2009

Incident: Swiss to battle Somali piracy

The Swiss Senate has approved plans to send an anti-piracy force of about 30 specialists ("including special troops, medical personnel and experts on international law") "to protect ships transporting supplies of the UN World Food Programme to developing countries" off Somalia. They will join EU forces in the Gulf of Aden. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 9/9/09)

05 September 2009

Incident: Cargo ship crew battles pirates

A general cargo ship, not otherwise identified, is attacked in port by armed men.
Ten heavily armed robbers in two speedboats opened fire at a general cargo ship carrying out repairs to her engines at anchorage. Crew threw molotov cocktails and signal rockets at the speedboats. One crew injured. Vessel sustained damages.
(ICC/IMB Website)

27 August 2009

Incident: Vessel fired upon

A vessel, not otherwise identified, is fired upon by four skiff launching rocket propelled grenades while sailing the Indian Ocean 140 NM northeast of Kismayo, Somalia. A US warship launched a helicopter to assist, which arrived after the attack was aborted. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 9/9/09)

26 August 2009

Incident: Cargo ship fired upon

A cargo ship, not otherwise identified, is fired upon in the Gulf of Aden by "armed pirates in a skiff" after a chase.
Alarm raised, crew mustered, evasive manoeuvres made and distress signal sent on VHF Ch. 16. A warship and a military helicopter arrived at location to render assistance.
(ICC/IMB Website)

Incident: Vessel fired upon

A vessel, not otherwise identified, was fired upon in the Gulf of Aden "by one small cargo vessel with a blue hull with 14 people onboard. The vessel changed course and managed to evade the attack." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 9/9/09)

19 August 2009

Incident: US promises air cover for Seychelles

The US African command, AFRICOM, announced if will be supplying drone aircraft patrols over the waters surrounding the Seychelles as well as P-3 Orion maritime patrols. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 8/19/09)

17 August 2009

Incident: NATO launches Ocean Shield operation

NATO's Ocean Shield operation begins off the Horn of Africa.
"No timeframe has been set for this long-term operation, which will last as long as it's deemed necessary," Major Stefano Sbaccanti, a spokesman from the alliance's Joint Command Lisbon, told AFP. It takes over from NATO's sea-based operation Allied Protector, launched last year, but with a new mandate to also "assist regional states, upon their request, in developing their own ability to combat piracy," a statement said. The operation "will contribute to a lasting maritime security solution off the Horn of Africa," NATO said. NATO's Joint Command Lisbon is in overall command, with day-to-day operations controlled out of the alliance's Maritime Component Command Headquarters Northwood in Britain. British, Greek, Italian, Turkish and US warships are involved in Ocean Shield, but "other countries are thinking of coming to reinforce the operation which could evolve at any moment," Sbaccanti said."
(AFP via ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 8/19/09)

16 August 2009

Incident: Cargo ship attacked

A general cargo ship, not otherwise identified, escapes attack by two skiffs launched from a mother ship in the Indian Ocean. The attack was made with automatic weapons and a rocket propelled grenade some 320 NM off Garacad. "Due to effective defense measures by the crew and unfavorable weather conditions, the vessel was
able to escape." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 8/19/09)

14 August 2009

Incident: Bulk carrier fired upon

A bulk carrier, not otherwise identified, is fired upon in the Gulf of Aden.
Five pirates armed with automatic guns and RPG in a speed boat fired upon a bulk carrier underway. Master took evasive manoeuvres to deter the pirates from boarding the ship. A coalition helicopter arrived at the scene after 40 minutes and the pirates moved way. One crew injured. The master was instructed to rendezvous with a coalition warship, which sent some troops and a doctor to treat the injured crew.
(ICC/IMB Website)

Note: this report could refer to the attack on the Elgiznur Cebi on the same date.

Incident: Elgiznur Cebi attacked

The Turkish ship Elgiznur Cebi is attacked in the Gulf of Aden by a speedboat with six men and a ladder aboard. A German helicopter from the warship Bremen fired upon the speedboat; the Greek warship Narvarinon boarded the speedboat and confiscated its ladder and weapons. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 8/19/09)

Elgiznur Cebi is a 190 m long cargo ship. (vesseltracker.com)

13 August 2009

Incident: Captives overpower pirates

The crews of the hijacked Egyptian fishing vessels Mumtaz 1 and Samara Ahmed, taken 4/14/09, coordinate an attack on their pirate captors holding them in the port of Las Qorey. Using machetes and tools against their captors, they are able to disarm them, killing two, injuring an unknown number, and taking four prisoners without suffering casualties of their own. Both fishing ships were sailed to safety in Aden, Yemen, by their crews. ("August 2009 Egyptian hostage escape," Wikipedia, 12/31/09)

11 August 2009

Incident: Turks detain suspected pirates

Five men are detained on a Turkish frigate after shadowing two commercial vessels in the Gulf of Aden's maritime patrol zone. (SETimes.com, 08/12/09)

The Gaziantep used commandos and one or more helicopters to make the arrest. Pirate equipment was found aboard the skiff operated by the arrested men. (AFP, 08/11/09)

10 August 2009

Incident: Hansa Stavanger released

The Hansa Stavanger, captured April 4th, is released by Somali pirates. The 24-man crew was described as being in good condition. (AP, 08/10/09) A $2.7 million ransom was paid to release the ship and crew. (Reuters, 08/03/09)

09 August 2009

Incident: Buccanneer freed

The Italian tug Buccaneer and its crew of 16 is released after having been hijacked on April 11. A ransom of $2 million was reportedly paid. (Press TV, 08/11/09) One of the pirates involved said a ransom of $4 million was paid, however Italy's "Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and the ship’s owner denied a claim by the pirates that a ransom was paid." (Bloomberg, 08/10/09) Somalia's Governor Mohamed Said Nur of Sanag says no ransom was paid but that the pirates were reimbursed the cost of "sustain[ing] the 16-member crew" - $270,000. (AP, 08/11/09)

04 August 2009

Incident: Vessel fired upon

A vessel in the Gulf of Aden, not otherwise identified, is fired upon by eight men armed with automatic weapons. The attackers fired from a blue, wooden boat 7-8 meters long. The attackers broke off the action when a military helicopter arrived at the scene. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 8/19/09)

03 August 2009

Incident: Bulk carrier fired upon

A bulk carrier, not otherwise identified, is fired upon in the Gulf of Aden by "Ten heavily armed pirates in two boats." "The pirates fail to board the vessel due to evasive action taken by the master. All the crew and the ship's properties are safe." (ICC/IMB Website)

02 August 2009

Incident: YB Masindra 7 released

A Malaysian tugboat, TB Masindra 7, with its crew of 11 Indonesians, is released by pirates after being held for eight months and the payment of an unidentified ransom amount. The tug was pulling a barge in the Gulf of Aden when taken. (AFP, 08/02/09) The tug was hijacked on December 16. Masindra Shipping Sdn Bhd owns the vessel. "European Union Naval Force Atalanta spokesman, Commander John Harbour, told Reuters the tugboat was on its way to the Maldives. The freed tugboat is being escorted by German warship Brandenberg, on patrol for the EU as part of Operation Atlanta. " (Jakarta Post, 08/05/09)

Incident: Norwegian warship sails for Somalia

The Norwegian frigate Fridtjof Nansen has sailed for Somali waters where it will join the anti-pirate NATO Operation Atalanta for six months "On board is also a unit of the Norwegian Special Naval Force (MJK), equipped with high speed boats which will be used to intercept pirates attempting to board cargo ships in Somali waters." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 8/19/09)

30 July 2009

Incident: Vessel fired upon

A vessel in the Gulf of Aden, not otherwise identified, is fired upon by six to seven men in a skiff. The attacker broke off the action. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 8/19/09)

28 July 2009

Analysis: Somalis flee to Yemen via Gulf of Aden

The United Nations says 30,000 Somali refugees have fled to Yemen to escape civil war, relying on smugglers to carry them across the Gulf of Aden. The UN says another 12,000 await transport in Bossaso. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 7/30/09)

27 July 2009

Incident: US Navy warns of increased attacks

The U.S. Fifth Fleet has warned that "High sea states over the past few weeks in the Somali Basin have resulted in fewer attacks on vessels transiting the area, but mariners must continue to remain vigilant." The statement notes that am end to the monsoon season in September will mean better sailing weather for pirates. (Wor;d Tribune, 07/28/09)

15 July 2009

Incident: Elephant freed by French, Indian military

The French and Indian navies liberate a Liberian vessel, A Elephant, through military action.
The small [sic] boat was hijacked by the pirates off the Somali coast Friday and was freed Wednesday after a joint operation by the two navies, the official said. The Somali pirates carrying rocket propelled grenades and AK-47s hijacked the Indian boat about 10NM off Bosasso in Gulf of Aden waters. The vessel had discharged its cargo at the Somali harbor and was proceeding to Dubai. The Somali pirates forced the boat towards Bab el Mandeb, north of Somalia, and tried to hijack the vessel, a Liberian tanker, Monday. A French warship shadowed the pirated boat and exchanged information about it with the Indian naval ship. “The dhow was thereafter tracked continuously by the warships of both the navies. Attempts to board the dhow for investigation by the French ship were abandoned when the pirates threatened to kill the 14 crew held hostage on the dhow. Following the joint efforts by the Indian and French warships patrolling the waters of Gulf of Aden, the pirates steered the dhow towards the Somali coast and released it along with the crew on July 15,” the Indian Navy official said. However, the pirates robbed the crew of all their cash and valuables. The hijacked boat was registered at Porbandar in India and was operating from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This is the sixth successful operation of the Indian Navy against the pirates in the region since November last.
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 7/30/09)

A Elephant is, in fact, a 320 m long tankship. (vesseltracker.com)

13 July 2009

Incident: Crude tanker fired upon

A crude tanker sailing the Gulf of Aden (not otherwise identified) is chased by four pirates in a skiff. The pirates fired upon the tanker, then "tried to hook a ladder onto the shipside. Master made evasive manoeuvres and contacted the warships for help." Evasive action defeated the would-be boarders. (ICC/IMB Website)

10 July 2009

Incident: Product tanker pursued by 10 skiffs

A product tanker in the Gulf of Oman (not otherwise identified) is pursued by two skiffs. "Master informed, crew alerted and fire hoses rigged. Ten minutes later, ten speed boats chased the tanker but due to anti piracy measures, pirates aborted the attempt." (ICC/IMB Website)

Incident: Nafeya hijacked

The Dhow Nafeya is hijacked 14 NM off Bosasso with a crew of 11 Indians aboard.
The vessel was used as a mothership in a failed attack on the tanker (A ELEPHANT). The dhow was released without ransom on 15 Jul 09, with all crew members safe
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 7/30/09)

08 July 2009

Incident: Horizon I taken

The Horizon I is taken in the Gulf of Aden with 23 Turkish crew aboard. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 7/8/09)

The 176m vessel is registered in Turkey. (vesseltracker.com)

It was carrying sulfur from Saudi Arabia to Jordan and was taken by five armed men.
The ship was brought first to the Somali port Hordio along with her 23-member crew including a female third officer. On July 10, the Horizon-1 left Hordio and sailed to the so-called pirate haven of Eyl in 60 nmi (110 km; 69 mi) distance southwards, cruising at low speed for unknown reason.
The ship had previously witnessed the capture of the Titan but itself escaped capture after the arrival of warships. (Wikipedia, "List of ships attacked by Somali pirates," 12/31/09)

04 July 2009

Incident: Bulk carrier attacked

A bulk carrier, not otherwise identified, reports an approach by a small boat in rough seas, followed by a rocket propelled grenade attack.
The master conducted evasive maneuvers, increased speed, and managed to elude the boat. ONI Comment: UKMTO contacted the master after the incident and was unable to confirm an attack. No weapons seen, no damage confirmed to date, and no attempt to board was noted.
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 7/8/09)

30 June 2009

Incident: Red Sea and Gulf states to set up TF

Arabian Gulf and Red Sea states have agreed to set up an all-Arab anti-piracy naval task force according to Yemeni sources.
Delegates to a regional security conference in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, issued a joint statement saying the proposed task force was necessary to counter "the danger posed to their shipping, particularly vital oil and gas exports which pass via the Red Sea to the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean." According to the Al Ayum newspaper, the task force would comprise warships from Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The Saudi navy will coordinate joint efforts for a period of one year, the paper said.
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 7/8/09)

27 June 2009

Incident: Pompei released

The Belgian dredger Pompei is released after a reported 2.8 million euro ransom is paid. (Wikipedia, "List of ships attacked by Somali pirates," 12/31/09)

22 June 2009

Incident: General cargo ship fired upon

A general cargo ship, not otherwise identified, is chased and fired upon by men in four skiffs armed with rifles and rocket propelled grenade launchers. The Gulf of Aden attack triggered defense measures including release of
dunnage bundles along with sharply cut empty drums. Vessel also threw sawdust over side which resulted in the pirates’ visibility being hampered. In the meanwhile coalition warships were in attendance and the pirates aborted the attack. The coalition warships stopped the skiffs and confiscated the weapons.
(ICC/IMB Website)

Note: This could be an alternate report of the Bolan incident except for the variance in skiff count and incident details.

Incident: Bolan fired upon

The cargo vessel Bolan is fired upon in the Gulf of Aden by men in two skiffs. The Bolan, employing evasive action and firing flares, summoned NATO warships to the area and a naval ship (not identified) captured the attackers. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 7/8/09)

Bolan is a 153 m long ship registered in Pakistan. (vesseltracker.com)

Incident: Maersk Phoenix attacked

The Singapore-flagged tanker Maersk-Phoenix is attacked by pirates armed with rifles and rocket propelled grenades in the Gulf of Aden off the port of Bossaso.
A Portuguese frigate [under NATO command] foiled a pirate attack on a tanker in the Gulf of Aden and captured eight pirates after firing shots at their boat, the armed forces command in Lisbon said. The (CORTE-REAL), operating with NATO forces in the region, was escorting a Pakistani merchant ship, the (BOLAN) ... The eight were freed after consultation with the Portuguese government, in line with the procedure for warships serving under NATO command...
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 7/8/09)

21 June 2009

Incident: Serenity hostages released

Those captured on the catamaran Serenity on March 25 are released but their boat is burned in retaliation for partial poayment of ransom. The ransom demanded was one million dollars and the amount said to have been paid was $450,000. (Wikipedia, "List of ships attacked by Somali pirates," 12/31/09)

19 June 2009

Incident: Tanker pursued

A tanker in the Bab el Mandeb, not otherwise identified, is chased by "armed men in skiffs." The target used evasive action to escape its pursuers. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 7/8/09)

18 June 2009

Incident: Bulk carrier pursued

A bulk carrier 110NM northwest of Al Hudaydah, Yemen, not otherwise identified, is chased by 30 men carrying rifles and rocket propelled grenades in three speedboats. The carrier escaped through evasive action. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 7/8/09)

The crew deterred boarding with fire hoses and "high voltage cables around the ship." (ICC/IMB Website)

15 June 2009

Incident: Tanker fired upon

A tanker in the Gulf of Aden, not otherwise identified, was subjected to rifle and rocket propelled grenade fire by a single skiff. The target vessel evaded its attacker; 20 minutes later an Iranian warship and Coalition helicopter arrived on the scene. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 6/19/09)

14 June 2009

Incident: Bulk carrier evades pursuers

A bulk carrier in the Gulf of Aden, not otherwise identified, applied evasive action to avoid approach by a suspicious craft. No details. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 6/19/09)

Incident: Tanker pursued

A tanker in the Gulf of Aden was chased by men in "several skiffs" but evaded pursuit. No details. (Based on positional information, this is not a duplicate report - ed.) (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 6/19/09)

The information correlates to an IMB report placing it in the Gulf of Aden near the Bab El Mandab. If the correlation is correct, this was an LNG tanker. (ICC/IMB Website)

Incident: Tanker pursued by armed men

A tanker, not otherwise identified, is approached by four fast craft each with five to six armed men. The tanker evaded pursuers while running fire hoses. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 6/19/09)

The attack occurred in the Gulf of Aden. (ICC/IMB Website)

Incident: Tanker fired upon

A tanker, not otherwise identified, is fired upon in the Gulf of Aden near the Bab el Mandeb. "Several speed boats approached the vessel, crossed its bow, and opened fire with automatic weapons. The tanker performed evasive maneuvers to prevent the men from boarding."(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 6/19/09)

The IMB says the vessel was an LPG tanker and that the attack occurred on the Red Sea side of the strait. (ICC/IMB Website)

13 June 2009

Incident: Chemical tanker pursued

A chemical tanker, not otherwise identified, is pursued by "skiffs" in the Gulf of Aden and escapes its pursuers through evasive maneuvers after contacting Coalition forces. The number of skiffs was not provided. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 6/19/09)

The IMB reports the number of skiffs as two. (ICC/IMB Website)

12 June 2009

Incident: Charelle taken

The general cargo ship Charelle is taken by pirates 11 NM off the coast of Oman after a pursuit "of some time." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 6/19/09)

The IMB gives the date of incident as 6/11/09. (ICC/IMB Website) The Gulf News gives it as 6/12 (Gulf News, 6/14/09)

Charelle is "operated by Pentagon Freight Services LLC to and from Indian Ocean and Red Sea Ports" and represents the farthest easterly strike by Somali pirates to date. "The sea jacking of MV Charelle took place 60 nautical miles off the eastern coastal town of Sur in Oman." (Gulf News, 6/14/09)

10 June 2009

Analysis: IMB urges "citadels" on board

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) and EU NAVFOR urge shippers to establish "citadel space."
The citadel space should be located in an inside location without portholes, such as the steering space gear area, where all crew can retreat to after they have disabled the vessel, should pirates have managed to board. With the ship disabled and the crew secure behind watertight doors, Mr. Choong said this should allow enough time for naval patrols to be alerted and a helicopter sent to the rescue. The pirates would be “helpless”, unable to even start the vessel’s engines without the crew’s help...
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 6/10/09)

Incident: Bulk carrier attacked

A bulk carrier off the coast of Oman, not otherwise identified, is attacked by men in two speed boats "20NM off Ras al Madrakah." The men, armed with hook ladder, rifles, and rocket propelled grenades, are defeated by evasive action and running fire hoses. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 6/19/09)

The attack was made by ten men in two skiffs. The
crew threw wooden and iron pieces to deter the pirates from boarding. The pirates showed hand signals to stop the engines and fired at the accommodation. After 50 minutes of attempted boarding, pirates aborted the attack and proceeded towards their mother vessel. Incident reported to Oman coast guard and coalition warships.
(ICC/IMB Website)

09 June 2009

Incident: Combined Maritime Forces warns shippers

Based on new pirate tactics and new lessons learned, Combined Maritime Forces have issued a warning to the shipping industry:
Merchants are urged to use the weather to their advantage, planning new routing off the east coast of Somalia due to the start of the southwest monsoon season.
Additionally,
...pirates have also recently increased their number of attacks during the hours of darkness, highlighting the need for heightened vigilance of merchant mariners during both day and night time transits through the high risk areas.
Further,
The advisory provides routing advice to minimize the risk of attack during the southwest monsoon, noting that the sea conditions off the East coast of Africa during the period from end of May to early September will reduce the likelihood of successful attack. Mariners are encouraged to take advantage of areas of heightened sea state but should continue to remain at a high state of alert.
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 6/10/09)

Incident: Bulk carrier fired upon

A bulk carrier in the Gulf of Aden, not otherwise identified, is fired upon by four armed men in a "speedboat." The target vessel increased speed, activated fire hoses and began evasive action while contacting Coalition forces. The attackers broke off the pursuit. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 6/19/09)

07 June 2009

Incident: Aisha fired upon

The tanker Aisha is fired upon in the Gulf of Aden by five men in a speedboat discharging 5 to 6 rounds toward the vessel.
The captain increased speed, conducted evasive maneuvers, sounded the ship’s whistle, and contacted coalition forces while the crew activated fire hoses. The speed boat eventually aborted the attack and moved away.
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 6/10/09) Aisha is a 272-m long Libyan vessel. (vesseltracker.com)

Incident: Bulk carrier fired upon

A bulk carrier, not otherwise identified, is fired on in the Gulf of Aden by four men in a speedboat. After evasive action by the captain of the targeted ship, the attack ended. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 6/10/09)

03 June 2009

Incident: Vessel fired upon

A vessel in the Gulf of Aden reports being fired upon by men armed with rifles and rocket propelled grenades. No details. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 6/10/09)

Incident: Bulk carrier taken

A vessel with 14 Indian crewmen carrying coal from Somalia to Dubai is hijacked in the Indian Ocean 120 NM off Hobyo, Somalia. "The vessel was eventually
released 10 days later after the pirates robbed the vessel and crew of everything of value." No details. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 6/19/09)

01 June 2009

Incident: Tanker fired upon

A tanker navigating the Gulf of Aden (not otherwise identified) is fired upon with automatic weapons by five men in a skiff. The captain of the intended victim increased speed, started fire hoses, and initiated evasive action, which caused the attackers to desist. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 6/10/09)

31 May 2009

Incident: Crude tanker evades boarding

A crude tanker, not otherwise identified, undergoes a boarding attempt in the Gulf of Aden by "armed pirates in a boat."
Ship raised alarm, sounded whistle, switched lights on, activated fire hoses, increased speed and commenced evasive manoeuvres. Pirate boat came about 2 - 3 meters off the ship's side, fired upon her and aborted the attempt. No injuries to crew. Coalition warship informed.
(ICC/IMB Website)

Incident: British Mallard escapes boarding try

The tanker British Mallard is is pursued and fired upon by men in a fast boat in the Gulf of Aden. Coalition warships were alerted.

The pirates attempted to board but the British Mallard's captain employed evasive action, fire hoses, and speed to cause them to break off the attack. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 6/10/09)

Incident: Stolt Strength attacked in Red Sea

The tanker Stolt Strength is attacked in the Red Sea 60 NM northwest of the Bab el Mandeb by seven armed men in a fast craft.
The captain increased speed, conducted evasive maneuvers, and contacted coalition forces. Yemeni coast guard dispatched their military boats and later a coalition helicopter arrived at the location. No injuries were reported. The vessel sustained holes from RPG and automatic gunfire.
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 6/19/09)

Stolt Strength is 175 m in length and registered in the Phillipines. (vesseltracker.com)

29 May 2009

Incident: Bulk carrier escapes boarding

A bulk carrier operating in the Gulf of Aden (but not further identified) is attacked by "Six pirates in a speed boat armed with guns." "Ship made zigzag manoeuvres to prevent the pirates from boarding and contacted coalition warship for assistance." No further details. (ICC/IMB Website)

Incident: Boarding foiled by warship

A chemical tanker, not further identified, is chased in the Gulf of Aden by "Five pirates in a blue coloured speed boat." the target vessel "contacted and manoeuvred towards a warship. Warship intercepted the speed boat." No further details. (ICC/IMB Website)

Incident: Australia pledges warship

Australia's defense minister announces a warship will be dispatched to join anti-pracy operations off Somalia. No details. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 6/10/09)

28 May 2009

Incident: Maud boarding foiled by Indians

The Liberian registered ship Maud is attacked by eight armed men in a high speed craft in the Gulf of Aden. An Indian warship, responding to Maud's call for help, sent a helicopter which fired at pirates as they were boarding, with two pirates falling into the sea.

French naval forces arrived to deliver the pirates to Puntland authorities while the Indian warships resumed escort duty. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 6/10/09)

The MAUD is a 247-m cargo vessel. (vesseltracker.com)

26 May 2009

Incident: Bulk carrier fired upon

A bulk carrier, not otherwise identified, is chased and fired upon in the Gulf of Aden.
Two skiffs with four pirates in each armed with automatic weapons and RPG chased a bulk carrier underway and opened fire. Ship contacted IMB Piracy Reporting Centre for assistance. The report was promptly passed on to coalition forces to render assistance to ship. Meanwhile ship used fires hoses and rocket flares and manoeuvred to thwart the attack / delay boarding. A coalition warship in the area prevented the pirate attack. Crew and ship are safe and continued her passage.
(ICC/IMB Website)

Incident: Antonis attacked, pirates captured

The cargo ship Antonis (pictured) is attacked in the Gulf of Aden with pirates attempting to board the vessel.
The Swedish corvettes (HMS MALMO) and (HMS STOCKHOLM), which are part of international efforts to fight piracy in the gulf, were ordered to help the cargo ship (ANTONIS) after it radioed it was under attack early on Tuesday. A party from the (HMS MALMO) bordered a fishing vessel used in the attack and seized seven pirates and two guns as well as a GPS navigator, the military said. No injuries were reported. The pirates were to be taken to Djibouti...
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/27/09)

Analysis: Anit-pirate forces meet in Bahrain

The Combined Maritime Forces staff, which oversees Combined Task Force 151, has organized a meeting in Bahrain to "deconflict" the various flotillas operating against Somali pirates:
Representatives from nations including Australia, Bahrain, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Jordan, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Russia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, UK, U.S., Yemen, the European Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) and NATO took part in today’s SHADE [SHared Awareness and DEconfliction] meeting. Following the establishment of CTF 151, the CMF staff determined that it would be helpful to implement working-level meetings ashore to discuss counter-piracy coordination and deconfliction. Today’s conference marked the fourth time CMF facilitated the meetings.
The CMF claimed success for coordination:
"These efforts streamline and maximize the effectiveness of naval forces to conduct counter-piracy operations in the region," said Commodore Tim Lowe, Deputy Commander, CMF. “By synchronizing and deconflicting our efforts, Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, EU, NATO and other international forces are making a difference.”
(CMF Press Release #087-09, 05/26/09)

In a spirit of optimism and good will that goes far beyond "making a difference," Capt. Richard Brown, commanding the guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg assigned to CTF 151, announced that "What Gettysburg, the U.S. and our Coalition partners have been able to achieve in the Gulf of Aden is to keep the sea lines of communication free and clear." Turkish Rear Adm. Caner Bener, commander, Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, complemented international naval forces not assigned to his command: "Without the assistance of our international partners in the area, our fight against piracy wouldn’t be as successful as it has been." (CMF Press Release 086-09, 05/26/09)

The military view could not be clearer: The sea lanes have been cleared of pirates (Brown) and the fight against pirates has been successful (Bener). Let's see what pirates and commerce have to say about this.

25 May 2009

Incident: Bulk carrier fired upon

A bulk carrier in the Gulf of Aden, not otherwise identified, is fired on by four men in a skiff. The target began evasive action while reporting the attack to coalition forces. After 10 minutes, the skiff ended its pursuit. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/27/09)

22 May 2009

Incident: Crude tanker fired upon

A crude tanker, not otherwise identified, is attacked in the Gulf of Aden.
Pirates in white hull skiffs armed with guns and RPG approached a crude oil tanker from the stbd side and fired RPG rounds towards the tanker. Tanker raised alarm, activated fire pumps and contacted warships. A warship advised tanker that it was proceeding to assist. On seeing the warships the pirates aborted the attack.
(ICC/IMB Website)

Incident: Bulk carrier fired upon

A bulk carrier, not otherwise identified, sailing in the Gulf of Aden is chased and fired upon by nine pirates "a light blue coloured speed boat armed with automatic weapons and RPGs."
Master contacted coalition warships and a helicopter came to the scene. Upon seeing the helicopter, the pirates aborted the attempt. The ship resumed her voyage with the warship in attendance.

(ICC/IMB Website)

Incident: pursuit foiled

A vessel sailing in the Gulf of Aden, not otherwise identified, successfully evades pursuit by three men in a white skiff. Crew saw the skiff launch from and return to "a small boat" acting as mothership. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/27/09)

Incident: Pirates taken after attack

The Italian navy seized nine pirates in the Gulf of Aden following attacks on the Maersk Virginia (USA registered) and the Maria K (flagged in St. Vincent and Grenadines). The Italian warship MAESTRALE captured the pirates after they fired on
the Maria K.
The pirates tried to flee in their skiff but stopped after warning shots were fired from the helicopter, [a] spokesman said...
Canada's HMS Winnipeg had sent a helicopter to rescue Maersk Virginia, but it was not needed upon arrival. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/27/09)

19 May 2009

Incident: Chemical tanker fired upon

A chemical tanker, not otherwise identified, is fired upon by automatic weapons in the Gulf of Aden after being pursued (number of skiffs and pursuers not disclosed). Evasive action caused the attack to be broken off. (ICC/IMB Website)

Incident: Chem tanker attacked

A chemical tanker, not otherwise identified, is fired upon 320 NM south of Port Victoria, Seychelles, by "men in skiffs." The target took evasive action and escaped pursuers. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/27/09)

Incident: Tanker fired upon

A tanker in the Gulf of Aden (not otherwise identified) is fired upon by men with "machine guns" firing from "a wooden boat." The captain in the targeted vessel raised the alarm, began evading, and pirates broke off the pursuit after four minutes. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/27/09)

Incident: tanker pursued but escapes

A tanker, not otherwise identified, is pursued in the Gulf of Aden in the morning by a "high speed boat." Pursuers broke off after their target adopted evasive action. Warships were called for assistance but the pursuit ended without their aid. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/27/09)

Incident: EU decides to patrol Seychelles

The European Union decides to include the Seychelles in the area of operations its forces will patrol for pirates.
There was unanimity "to extend the coverage up to the Seychelles, to reinforce the capacity of the air and naval patrols, which have already had good results, and prolong the duration of its operations," beyond the current December mandate, Spanish Defence Minister Carme Chacon said after that meeting.
The EU is running Operation Atalanta using naval resources from German, Swedish, Spanish, French, Greek, and Italian navies. The EU force will be augmented by contributions from Belgium, the Netherlands, Romania and non-members Norway and Switzerland in the future. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/27/09)

18 May 2009

Incident: Tanker evades pursuers

A tanker, not otherwise identified, is pursued by men in two skiffs in the Gulf of Aden. The targeted ship fired flares, contacted nearby warships, and took evasive action to shake off pursuers. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/27/09)

17 May 2009

Incident: Tanker fired upon

A tanker in the Gulf of Aden, not otherwise identified, was fired upon at 1012 in the morning by six pirates in a white skiff discharging automatic rifles and rocket propelled grenades. The captain contacted warships and began evasive action which caused the pirates to break off the attack after 36 minutes. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/27/09)

Incident: Stella "harassed"

The Stella is reported "harassed" by pirates in the Gulf of Aden. No details. The Australian Navy relief of the nearby Dubai Princess against attacks appears to have ended Stella's harassment as well. (Wikipedia, "List of ships attacked by Somali pirates," 12/31/09)

Incident: Dubai Princess attacked

The Panama registered, UAE owned Dubai Princess is rescued by Royal Australian Navy frigates HMAS Sydney and HMAS Ballarat while attacked in the Gulf of Aden by pirates armed with rocket propelled grenades. "The pirates fled the area after the two frigates and a Sea Hawk helicopter from Sydney appeared. The action occurred in international waters about 170 kilometres (92 nmi) south of Yemen." (Wikipedia, "List of ships attacked by Somali pirates," 12/31/09)

the 250 meter long tankship Dubai Princess is registered in the Marshall Islands (vesseltracker.com)

16 May 2009

Incident: Spain hands pirates over to Kenya

Spain has handed 13 Somali pirates over to Kenya for justice. they were taken last week in an Atalanta operation in the Indian Ocean. One of the captured men remains in hostpital. (AFP, 05/16/09)

Incident: Amira attacked

The Amira, an Egyptian cargo ship, is attacked in the Gulf of Aden by pirates. After raising the alarm, helicopters from the USS Gettysburg and ROKS Munmu the Great drove off the attackers with sailors from the Gettysburg arresting 17 men on a nearby "mothership" after confiscating arms and ammunition. (RTTNews,05/14/09) Officials named the ships involved in the operation as South Korean destroyer MANMU THE GREAT and US cruiser GETTYSBURG. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/27/09)

15 May 2009

Incident: RO/RO evades pirates

A RO/RO vessel in the Gulf of Aden (not otherwise identified) is approached at 0639 hours by armed men in masks in four speedboats. The targeted ship fired two flares at its pursuers and contacted warships for help. While the RO/RO took evasive action, a helicopter arrived 30 minutes later causing the speedboats to return to a mother ship. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/27/09)

Incident: Kenya agrees to shipboard police

Kenya has agreed to post policemen on anti-piracy patrols to arrest pirates apprehended at sea, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. "The police, or 'ship riders,' would then deliver the pirates to Kenya for trial," according to reports. The disclosure was made by a UN official, Antonio Maria Costa, testifying before the US Congress. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/27/09)

14 May 2009

Analysis: Pirate coordination and support

A report in Lloyd's Fairplay Shipping News says that pirates are spending loot to upgrade their boats and their intelligence networks, which has increased the number of attacks. Fairplay estimates only a third of any ransom goes to the pirates, another tenth going to local officials. the paper says that local Somali businessmen back piracy and that thei commercial connections allow them to move money around in regional banks.
Fairplay further discovered that pirates netted an estimated $80 million in 2008. An equal amount was also paid by owners of captured ships to lawyers, underwriters and to kidnap and ransom specialists to ensure safe return of crews and vessels.
(Janes, undated press release)

Spanish radio station Cadena SER have reported details of an EU naval intelligence report that says pirate land stations are dispatching patrols based on intelligence gathered in London and passed on to pirate leaders. "The information provided voluntarily by merchant ships transiting the area to various international agencies has now landed in the pirates' hands," according to the report. (Telegraph, 05/11/09)

"According to the same report the pirates receive their information by satellite phone and use sophisticated equipment to locate their targets.

At least one of the top five groups of Somali pirates has advisers in London, who in turn provide them with detailed information about the ships." (Yemen Post, 05/14/09)

Haldun Dincel, general manager of Turkey's Yardimci shipping company, says that during negotiations to release the Karagöl, "Every day the chief of the pirates got in touch with people from London, Dubai and some from the Yemen." Dincel said of the hijackers, "They knew the ­vessel, they knew the cargo, they knew the loading ports, they knew the destination, they knew everything." (Guardian, 05/11/09)

EU naval commander Phillip Jones meanwhile said that his forces were redoubling efforts to secure shipping information. He said he was "bemused" by the Spanish report. (BBC, 05/14/09)

Incident: Iran commits warships to fight pirates

Iranian state radio has announced that two Iranian warships will arrive in the Gulf of Aden in the next two days and will perform anti-piracy duty there for five months. It has announced the dispatch of a single ship to those waters in December. Reuters, 05/14/09) Iran's UN representative says,"The aim of sending these ships is to protect Iranian commercial vessels and oil tankers or those ships which carry Iranian commodities or nationals." (AFP, 05/14/09)

13 May 2009

Incident: Vessel fired upon

An unidentified vessel was fired upon with rocket propelled grenades while sailing south of Mukalla, Yemen in the Gulf of Aden. Two RPGs were fired by men in two skiffs. Coalition forces arrived on the scene to assist the victim. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/13/09)

This may be the same attack as that carried out against a bulk carrier (not further identified) in the Gulf of Aden the same day.
Two boats with five pirates in each boat chased and fired upon a bulk carrier with automatic rifles and RPG. An orange and white coloured mother vessel was noticed around 3 nm astern of the vessel. Master carried out evasive manoeuvres, increased speed and contacted coalition warship. A helicopter arrived at the location and the pirates aborted the attempt.
(ICC/IMB Website)

12 May 2009

Incident: Container ship fired upon

A container ship, not otherwise identified, is chased and then fired upon by nine pirates in two skiffs armed with rifles and rocket propelled grenades. "Master carried out evasive manoeuvres and the pirates aborted the attempt after 45 minutes. No casualty to crew." The attack occurred in the Indian Ocean 740 NM east of Mogadishu. (ICC/IMB Website)

10 May 2009

Incident: Tanker escapes pursuers

A tanker in the Gulf of Aden, not otherwise identified, is approached at 0715 hours by two speedboats holding 13 men. The crew launched signal flares toward the boats while taking evasive action. A Russian warship was contacted and the pursuers broke off their chase. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/27/09)

07 May 2009

Incident: RoRo chased

A RoRo vessel, not otherwise identified, is chased in the Gulf of Aden by masked men with automatic weapons in four skiffs.
They came as close as 500 meters from the vessel. Vessel made evasive manoeuvres and fired two flares at the pirate boats. Master contacted coalition warships for assistance. Thirty minutes later, a helicopter flew over the location. The speed boats aborted the attempt and regrouped around a suspected, mother vessel 4 nm. The mother vessel was towing a skiff and was white in colour.
(ICC/IMB Website)

Incident: Bulk carrier fired upon

A bulk carrier saling in the Gulf of Aden (not otherwise identified) is fired upon at 0930 hours by seven pirates firing automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades. The pirates also deployed an aluminum ladder to board the ship. Taking evasive action, the carrier notified warships while taking evasive action. The arrival of a helicopter caused the attackers to break off and the arrival of a warship placed the attackers under arrest. No details. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/27/09)

Incident: Failed boarding attempt

A tanker in the Gulf of Aden, not otherwise identified, escaped a noon boarding attempt by nine armed men in a blue skiff. The crew threw flares into the skiff and the ship's captain took evasive maneuvers. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/13/09)

Incident: Marathon taken

Armed pirates in fast boats capture the general cargo ship Marathon after a pursuit and boarding. Eight Ukrainian crew are said to be aboard. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/13/09)

06 May 2009

Incident: Almezaan released

The ship Almezaan is released by pirates after its May 1 capture.
The vessel was reportedly released without ransom 6 May 09 after local Somali traders
confirmed the vessel was chartered by local traders.
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/27/09)

Incident: Product tanker fired upon

A product tanker, not otherwise identified, is fired upon in the Gulf of Aden off Al Mukalla. "Pirates armed with guns in a black and white speed boat chased a tanker and opened fire with automatic weapons." Evasive action delivered ship and crew to safety. (ICC/IMB Website)

Incident: Vessel fired upon

A vessel in the Gulf of Aden, not otherwise identified, was fired upon by armed men in a skiff. Evasion by the captain of the target vessel caused the skiff to capsize and dump six men in the water. EU warships were summoned to the scene. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/13/09)

Incident: Two small craft chase vessel

A vessel in the Gulf of Aden, not otherwise identified, was chased by two "suspicious craft" - the crew was mobilized, fire hoses deployed against the pursuers, and he chase broken off after warships were notified of the incident. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/13/09)

05 May 2009

Incident: Vehicle carrier avoids boarding

A vehicle carrier, not otherwise identified, escapes multiple boarding attempts in the Indian Ocean some 560 NM southeast of Mogadishu. Eight pirates in two skiffs made the attempts but were ultimately foiled by increased speed and evasive action. (ICC/IMB Website)

Incident: Bulk carrier fired upon

A bulk carrier, not otherwise identified, is fired upon with "guns" by six pirates in a skiff while in the Gulf of Aden. Pirates
attempted to board the ship a few times but failed. Crew fired rockets towards the pirates and enforced anti piracy measures onboard. Coalition forces informed and a helicopter was dispatched. No casualties to crew. Bridge window broken due to firing.
(ICC/IMB Website)

Incident: Boarding attempted

A vessel (not otherwise identified) is subjected to a boarding attempt in the Indian Ocean starting at 0930 hours local time.
Eight pirates in two speed boats armed with automatic weapons approached the vessel with a speed of 23 knots. A third boat was observed further back and assessed as being a mother ship. The captain increased speed and alerted the crew. The two speed boats arrived approximately 10 meters off the stern and attempted to get alongside the vessel several times in an attempt to board the vessel by using a portable ladder. The vessel conducted evasive maneuvers for 20 minutes before the pirates abandoned their pursuit
The attempt was made 155NM NW of Port Victoria, the Seychelles. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/27/09)

Incident: Michael S fired upon

The Michael S is fired upon with a rocket propelled grenade while underway in the Gulf of Aden. An Italian frigate arrived on the scene to drive off attackers, apparently numbering four men in a fast craft. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/13/09) Michael S is a Malta-registered cargo ship. (Vesseltracker.com)

Analysis: EU promotes success of convoys

The European Union says its registration and convoy system has succeeded in protecting all but one ship from pirate attacks off Somalia in an article published today by Lloyds List.
“Since 12 December 2008, 41 attacks have been
confirmed in the area of operations, resulting in seven actual hijackings. Only one of the seven hijacked vessels was following EU Navfor recommendations,” said the EU Council of Ministers, referring to the period to March 1.
The piece continues,
Rather than being escorted, commercial vessels are organized into convoys which are then watched over by EU navy vessels stationed at strategic points. Ship operators register vessels over a website and are given convoy start times and locations. “The EU mission is not alone in the region,” the Council of Ministers pointed out. “Efficient coordination both with the shipping industry and with other naval units deployed by maritime powers (Russia, China and India) or groups (US-led coalition TF 151 + NATO) is therefore essential. “The Maritime Security Centre (Horn of Africa) website, developed by Operational Headquarters in conjunction with the shipping industry, and voluntary exchange of information and best practices are the means through which efficient coordination is being achieved.”
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/13/09)

Incident: Victoria taken

The German owned cargo ship Victoria is taken in the Gulf of Aden while travelling in military convoy. The pirates attacked the Antigua and Barbuda flagged vessel while it was being escorted with a cargo of rice for Jeddah. It was taken to Bossaso with its crew of 11. (Bloomberg, 05/06/09)

Lloyd's says the ship was not in convoy: "the ship had registered its presence with the European Union’s anti-piracy naval mission Atalanta and had been sailing inside the transit corridor monitored by naval forces." (Lloyd's List, 05/06/09)

03 May 2009

Incident: Seychelles re-arrest three pirates

Three pirates released by the French warship Nivose have been re-arrested by the Seychelles coast guard. No details. (AP, 05/03/09)

Incident:France captures 11 pirates

Two Somali fast craft bearing armed men closed with the French warship 600 miles off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. Eleven armed pirates were arrested after they realized their mistake. (Reuters, 05/03/09)

The ship in question was the French frigate Nivôse.
...mistaken for a merchant ship, Nivôse sailed into the sun to avoid being identified; as the pirates closed in, she turned about, launching her on-boarded helicopter and fast outboard vessels.
(Wikipedia, "List of ships attacked by Somali pirates," 12/31/09)

02 May 2009

Incident: Tanker attacked

A tanker, not otherwise identified, is fired upon in the Indian Ocean some 320NM southwest of Port Victoria, Seychelles.
A mother ship and two speed boats were observed at a distance of 6NM from the vessel. The captain altered course and the boats started chasing the vessel. The captain raised the alarm, sent
out a distress message, increased speed, and took evasive maneuvers.
The attackers desisted once their distance from the mothership reached 20 km. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/27/09)

Incident: General cargo ship taken

A general cargo ship, not otherwise identified, is hijacked off Mogadishu. No details. (ICC/IMB Website)

Incident: Product tanker fired upon

A product tanker, not otherwise identified, is fired upon in the Indian Ocean by men in two speedboats.
A pirate mother vessel and two high speedboats were observed at a distance of six nm from a tanker underway. Master altered course and the boats started chasing the tanker. Master raised alarm, sent distress message, increased speed and took evasive manoeuvres. The boats came very close to the tanker and suddenly the 2nd boat stopped chasing the tanker, probably engine problem. The 1st boat fired upon the tanker with RPG and aborted the attack as the distance from the mother vessel increased to 20 nm. No damages and injuries to crew.
The attack occurred 560 NM southeast of Mogadishu. (ICC/IMB Website)

01 May 2009

Incident: Bulk carrier escapes boarding try

A bulk carrier operating in the Indian Ocean, not otherwise identified, escaped a boarding attempt 270NM east of Port Victoria, Seychelles, after 40 minutes of evasive maneuvering. Two speed boats pursued their target, firing small arms and rocket propelled grenades and inflicting minor damage on the ship. The pirates made a total of five failed boarding attempts using a small ladder to try to scale the high freeboard. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/27/09)

Incident: Almezaan taken

The ship Almezaan is captured by pirates 100 NM off Somalia in the Indian Ocean. No details. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/27/09)

Incident: Vessel chased

A vessel, not otherwise identified, was chased 220NM southeast of Port Victoria,
Seychelles, in the Indian Ocean by a suspicious craft. The chase lasted 20 minutes, ending thanks to evasive action by the captain of the pursued ship. (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/27/09)

Incident: Al Misan taken

A Pakistani-owned ship, the Al Misan, is taken 60 miles off Mogadishu while carrying vehicles, sugar, and cooking oils from the UAE. A Somali trader with a stake in the ship or cargo said negotiations to free the vessel are underway. (AFP, 05/03/09)

Incident: Kition attacked

The Norwegian oil tanker Kition is attacked 161 km off the Somali coast but rescued by the Portuguese warship Corte Real. A Portuguese helicopter followed the attackers back to their mothership, arrested 19 men, then released them. (Xinhua, 05/02/09) "... the Portuguese found four sticks of P4A explosives on the vessel." (VOA, 05/02/09)

Incident: Ariana seized

A Malta-flagged Greek tanker, the Ariana, is taken in the Indian Ocean between the Seychelles and Madagascar while carrying soy from Brazil to Iran. Its crew of 24 Ukrainians was made hostage with the ship. No details (Xinhua, 5/2/09)

The attack occurred late Friday. (Xinhua, 5/2/09)

There is a British national among the crew in a managerial role. (VOA, 05/02/09)

CNN calls Ariana British-owned. (CNN, 05/02/09)

The ship is Greek-owned and registered in Malta. (Wikipedia, "List of ships attacked by Somali pirates," 12/31/09)

Analysis: Tangled military commands

One of the clear threads we described in the 2008 Yearbook was the devolution of military control throughout the year. The year began with a near unitary command situation: US Admiral Bill Gortney's US Navy forces dominated the region.

With the dramatic increase in piracy after commercial ships were herded into a patrol zone where no navy patrolled and after listening to various sociology and philosophy lessons given merchant seafarers by Admiral Gortney, the international community rose to the military challenge and sent navies to the region, taking care to keep those navies out of the hands of Gortney. Gortney's new CTF 151, a dedicated anti-piracy force intended to absorb various international contingents, attracted only the odd ship from America's closest allies. (Its website portrays an idle, self-absorbed command casting a lazy eye on news headlines from the region.)

In 2008, we watched independent Indian, Chinese, Russian, French and other flotillas rescue attacked ships, escort flagged vessels of their own nationality, and (too often) arrive late at the scene of a crime. Most curiously we saw the dispatch of allied fleets (from NATO and the EU) arrive to perform missions outside of any unifying leadership, U.S. or otherwise.

World Politics Review now suggests that the EU and NATO are "interblocking" in their bilateral dealings:
NATO and the EU now coexist with a confusing and ambiguous set of overlapping tasks, with no clear functional or geographical division of labor in the cards anytime soon. Nor have they signed any formal agreements regarding information sharing, security guarantees and a code of conduct, despite having troops [sailors], often from the same country, serving side by side in harm's way. Playing it by ear is the order of the day. Instead of interlocking, the two institutions have become interblocking.
Note that "NATO" refers to a separate command in the region, not to allied forces working under CTF 150 or CTF 151. Each of these CTFs has a different purpose as does the U.S. Fifth Fleet in the region.

Amidst this chaos - and we have not even considered independent forces here - we learn that NATO wants to revise its anti-piracy mission:
...the alliance has asked its military planners to come up with a stronger mandate and new rules of engagement for the mission ... a key issue is determining how to deal with captured pirates. NATO ships in recent weeks have captured several boatloads of suspected pirates but had to release them because of legal concerns.
None of this seems destined to influence command and control and the need for effective cooperation.