Weekly Piracy Report

 The following information comes from the International Maritime Bureau:

Recently reported incidents

02.03.2008: 0237 UTC: 09:40.2N – 057:38.9E, 390 nm off Somalian coast.
An orange painted dhow with white stanchions, while drifting, called up a vessel five nautical miles away requesting them to stop because they had no food or water and they had 25 persons onboard. As the vessel altered course, the master noticed that the dhow had increased speed and was heading directly for them. Seeing this, the master suspected an attempted attack, altered course, and headed away form the dhow. The vessel and the dhow were both doing around 7 knots and after around 3.5 hours, the dhow altered towards Socotra Island. The same dhow returned to its original position and was later heard calling another vessel to stop.
02.03.2008: 0045 LT: Nacala Bay anchorage, Mozambique.
Robbers in three boats boarded a tanker at anchor. They were in the process of lowering ship’s stores when duty crew spotted the robbers. Alarm raised and crew mustered.  Robbers jumped overboard and escaped. Port control informed.
27.02.2008: 1100 LT: 13:05.6N-057:49.44E: 197nm East of Socotra Island.
A suspicious boat approached a yacht, sailing with two other yachts. The yachts downed their sails and used their engines to increase speed.  The suspicious boat with about 16 people on board approached closer and offered fish in exchange for cigarettes but the yacht crew asked them to move away.  The boat chased the yachts for about 15 minutes before moving away

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.

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