Weekly Piracy Report

Weekly Piracy Report from the International Maritime Bureau
18-24 March 2008

The following is a summary of the daily reports broadcast by the IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre to ships in Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Ocean Regions on the SafetyNET service of Inmarsat-C from 18 to 24 March 2008.

ALERT

Chittagong anchorage, Bangladesh
The number of attacks has reduced since 2006. However, the area is still listed as a high risk area and mariners are advised to be cautious especially while approaching the anchorage and while at anchor at Chittagong

Nigeria
Violent attacks carried out by pirates on board vessels at anchor and vessel carrying out STS operations. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution in these waters.

Suspicious crafts

None reportedRecently reported incidents

23.03.2008: 0055 LT: Tema anchorage, Ghana.
Three robbers boarded a chemical tanker at anchor. Duty crew noticed the robbers. Bridge informed.  D/O raised alarm, sounded ship’s whistle and crew mustered. Robbers jumped into the water and escaped. Nothing stolen. Port control informed. A security boat came and conducted a full search of the area.
19.03.2008: 0312 UTC: 10:46.8N – 066:44.5E, Arabian sea.
A tanker, underway detected a suspicious boat about 6nm ahead. As the tanker altered to keep clear of the boat, the boat kept altering to remain in front of the vessel. Alarm raised, crew mustered and anti-piracy measures initiated. Master increased speed and crew activated fire hoses. At a distance of 3 cables, the boat finally stopped and the tanker and moved away. The crew noticed 6 persons onboard the boat.
19.03.2008: 0300 LT: Tanga anchorage, Tanzania.
A robber from a fishing boat boarded an anchored container ship. The robber jumped overboard as soon as the anti-piracy crew spotted him. Alarm raised, crew mustered and searched the ship. Nothing stolen. The watch keepers noticed seven more people in the boat.
18.03.2008: 0350 UTC: 12:53.2N-050:14.7E: Gulf of Aden.
Two speedboats, length 5 meters, with five persons in each boat, dressed in camouflage cloths and armed with automatic weapons approached a VLCC in ballast.  Master raised alarm, crew alerted, evasive manoeuvres taken and speed increased.  The boats fired shots in the air. Later, the boats aborted the attempted boarding.  All vessels in the vicinity warned.
17.03.2008: 0230 LT: Enroute Cagbalite, Mituban and Balisen, Polilio Island, Philippines.
A passenger boat with ten passenger including five crewmembers was returning to Polilio Island after discharging her cargo on the mainland.  Two passengers who had earlier boarded after asking for a ride to Polilio Island took control of the boat and shot dead three crewmembers including the captain. The pirates then tied them to the anchor and threw them overboard. The pirates shot the remaining two-crew members and injured them. One of the injured jumped into the sea and is still missing.  The other injured crew is recuperating in the hospital.  Three other passengers including a child were unharmed. The coast guard has mounted a search for the missing and dead crewmembers and the pirates who fled in a motor boat.

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.

One Response to Weekly Piracy Report

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