Recently reported incidents from the International Maritime Bureau
|30.01.2008: 2130 UTC: 06:17.62N – 003:24369E, Lagos anchorage, Nigeria.
Four robbers armed with handguns and knives boarded a product tanker at anchor. Alert crew raised alarm and crew mustered. Robbers stole ship’s store and escaped in their waiting boat.
|04.02.2008: 0330 LT: Dar es Salaam anchorage area 4, Tanzania.
Twelve robbers in a speedboat approached a general cargo ship at anchor. Two robbers boarded the ship. Alert crew raised alarm, SSAS activated and port control informed. Ship’s crew mustered and took necessary anti-piracy measures. The robbers jumped into the water and escaped in their waiting boat. Police patrol boat came for investigation
Piracy prone areas and warnings
Mariners are warned to be extra cautious and to take necessary precautionary measures when transiting the following areas:
S E Asia and the Indian Sub Continent
- Bangladesh : Sixty two incidents have been reported since January 2006. Pirates are targeting ships preparing to anchor. Most attacks reported at Chittagong anchorages and approaches. Although the number of attacks has fallen recently, the area is still listed as very high risk.
- Indonesia : Balongan, Balikpapan, Belawan. Generally be vigilant in other areas. Many attacks may have gone unreported.
- Malacca straits : Although the number of attacks has dropped due to the increase and constant patrols by the littoral states relevant Authorities since July 2005, ships are advised to continue maintaining a strict anti piracy watch when transiting the straits.
- Philippines : Manila – Pirates target ships at anchor.
- Singapore Straits : Pirates seen attacking ships while at anchor but in the past several ships were attacked while underway.
Africa and Red Sea
- Lagos (Nigeria) : Pirates are violent and have attacked and robbed vessels/kidnapped crews along the coast and river, at anchorages and ports. A total of 42 incidents have been reported in Nigeria since 08.01.2007. Twenty five attacks alone for Lagos and seven for Bonny River. Generally be vigilant in other areas in Nigeria.
- Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) : Twenty incidents have been reported since 05.06.2006. Pirates are targeting ships in port and anchorages.
- Mombasa (Kenya):
- Gulf of Aden / Red Sea : Numerous pirate attacks have been reported by ships and yachts in the Gulf of Aden/Red sea. In the past, some of the vessels were fired upon.
- Somalian waters : The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre has received 31 actual and attempted attacks in 2007. Many more attacks may have gone unreported. Some pirates are dangerous and would fire their automatic weapons at ships to stop them. Occasionally, they would use their RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade) launchers at ships. Pirates are believed to be using “mother vessels” to launch attacks at very far distance from coast. These “mother vessel” is able to proceed to very far out to sea to launch smaller boats to attack and hijack passing ships. Eastern and Northeastern coasts are high risk areas for attacks and hijackings. Vessels not making scheduled calls to ports in Somalia should keep as far away as possible from the Somali coast, ideally more than 200 nautical miles. Mariners are also advised to report any suspicious boats to the Centre.
South and Central America and the Caribbean waters
- Brazil : Though the number of attacks has dropped in Santos, ships are advised to continue to be vigilant.
- Peru : Callao
Rest of the World
- Arabian Sea : Sightings and calls from suspicious small boats. In some cases, boats pursued the ships with unknown intent.
The Inventus UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) is a state-of-the-art reconnaissance system packaged in a highly efficient, highly stable flying wing form. Outfitted with cameras, the Inventus flies and covers a large ocean area and relays a real-time data link back to the ground station. This link provides real-time aerial surveillance and early warning of suspect or unauthorised craft movements to the coastal or law enforcement authority. Developed by Lew Aerospace, the Inventus is fully autonomous and can be launched and recovered even from a seagoing or patrol vessel. There are gas and electric formats and both fly in alht against piracy. It is a non-lethal, electrifying fence surrounding the whole ship, which has been specially adapted for maritime use. The fence uses 9,000-volt pulse to deter boarding attempts. An intruder coming in contact with the fence will receive an unpleasant non-lethal shock that will result in the intruder abandoning the attempted boarding. At the same time an alarm will go off, activating floodlights and a very loud siren. The IMB strongly recommends ship owners to install this device on board their ships. Further details can be obtained at www.secure-marine.com
–>IMB piracy reports (free) and other publications can be ordered from the publications page.