October 25, 2009


To keep the pirates distracted until EUNAVFOR vessels could arrive, Cockney oiler Ned Arbisthwaite kept them entertained with the Hokey Cockey.


Weekly Piracy Report

June 11, 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 3 to 9 June 2008.

Read More Here.

Weekly Piracy Report

April 18, 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 8 to 14 April 2008.


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

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 reported

Recently reported incidents
06.04.2008: 2000 UTC: 05:17.7N – 004:43.03E: Nigeria.
An unlit speedboat approached a tanker from the stern. Alarm raised and SSAS alarm activated. The speedboat Fired warning shots from automatic weapons and left. No injuries to crew or any damage to ship suffered.

13.04.2008: 0205 LT: 03:13N – 105:26E, Off Pulau Mangkai, Indonesia
12 pirates, in a speedboat, armed with guns, swords and iron bars approached a bulk carrier underway. Master raised alarm, crew directed fire hoses and SSAS activated. Pirates boarded the ship and stole crew personal belongings, ship’s cash and property. After 50 minutes, they left the ship. No injuries to crew except minor bruises. Ships in vicinity alerted.

13.04.2008: 0355 LT: 03:16.18N – 105:26.68E, off Pulau Mangkai, Indonesia.
Pirates armed with long knives in a speedboat boarded a product tanker underway. They stole crew personal belongings and ship’s property and escaped. No injuries.

12.04.2008: 0511 UTC: 14:33.6N – 050:32.2E, Gulf of Aden.
Two suspicious crafts doing 17 knots approached a container ship underway. Master took evasive manoeuvres and increased speed to outrun the crafts. Both crafts had six to seven persons onboard. No weapons sighted. There were several other small boats in the vicinity; however, there was no indication that these boats were associated with the two suspect crafts.

09.04.2008: 1720 UTC: 13:57.5N – 051:13.1E: Gulf of Aden.
A general cargo ship, underway, noticed a target on the radar at a range of 6nm. When 4nm off, the boat switched off her lights altered course and headed towards the general cargo ship. As the ship altered course to increase the CPA, the suspicious boat kept altering course to get closer. The ship switched off its navigation and all other lights to take cover in the darkness. At a range of 2nm, the boat aborted. At a distance of 6nm the ship switched on it’s navigational lights and resumed her original course.

08.04.2008: 0247 LT: Dar es Salaam anchorage no. 6, Tanzania.
Anti piracy watchman sighted one robber near the boson store, on a container ship at anchor. On sighting the watchman, the robber jumped overboard and escaped in a waiting boat. Alarm raised. Investigations indicated duty watch keepers had abandoned their stations to look into a noise they had heard, allowing the robber to access the ship unnoticed. Ship’s stores were found stolen.

08.04.2008: 0700UTC: 14:30N-051:52E: Gulf of Aden.
Suspicious boats approached and circled a tanker underway three times in 20 minutes. At first, one boat circled the vessel. In the second and third instance, four boats circled the vessel. The master increased speed, took evasive manoeuvres and enforced effective measures to prevent suspicious boats from closing in.

07.04.2008: 0900 LT: 15:06N-052:55E: Gulf of Aden.
One fishing boat approached a vessel underway. The boats showed white flags and asked for food. Ship activated fire hoses. After 30 minutes, the boats left.

01.04.2008: 14:30N – 049:10E:75nm South of Mukalla port: Gulf of Aden.
Pirates armed with guns attacked and hijacked a fishing vessel and sailed into Somali territorial waters. The fishing vessel, along with its 34 crew was released when a military helicopter intervened.

31.03.2008: 12:10N-052:10E: Abd Al-Kuri Island, Gulf of Aden.
Pirates armed with guns attacked and boarded a fishing vessel. They shot and injured the master on his left shoulder, stole three zodiac boats and escaped into Somali waters.

Maritime Safety News Today – 8th April 2008

April 8, 2008

Korean, Chinese vessels collide, 6 missing
United Press International – USA
international waters and coast guard officials said the crew onboard the 16400-ton Korean freighter rescued two sailors clinging to the sinking vessel.

Damages sought
Sun.Star – Philippines
both hit the bridge at 7 am last Sunday,” said Mardon Martin, Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) 7 maritime safety specialist, during the meeting.

French navy in pursuit of yacht seized by pirates
Independent – London,England,UK
Although piracy is on the increase, it is rare for such a spectacular vessel as Le Ponant to be seized. The ship has four decks and two restaurants.

Undersea detection system helps to guard against collision with ships
Boston Globe – United States
In the deep, cold waters off Massachusetts, the world’s last 350 or so North Atlantic right whales search for each other with soft, drawn-out “whoops” and

Charges to be laid in Suriname against Guyanese pirates
Caribbean Net News – Georgetown,Cayman Islands
By Ivan Cairo PARAMARIBO, Suriname: Prosecutors in Suriname will soon lay charges against six Guyanese nationals suspected of piracy against local and

Strikers end ferry seizure
Lloyd’s List – London,UK
SEAFARERS employed by the French Mediterranean ferry operator SNCM ended their two-day-old occupation of the SeaFrance Molière on Friday afternoon after

Barrot aide tells shipping to ‘wake up’
A senior official of the European Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot has urged the maritime industry to “wake up” and do something about its emissions before ships are denied entry into European ports, saying that Industry executives are “dreaming” if they think they will escape new legislation designed to cut emissions such as sulphur and carbon dioxide.

DNV warns of shiprepair bottleneck ‘in two years’
New research conducted by the classification society Det Norske Veritas suggests that the shipping industry is approaching a dangerous bottleneck in the availability of shiprepair facilities within the next two years.

Weekly Piracy Report

March 26, 2008

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.


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

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.

Does LRAD Work?

March 25, 2008

I’ll put aside the issue of whether or not wise decisions were made when heavily armed military personnel aboard the Global Patriot, a civilian vessel chartered by the US department of defens(c)e sent a boatload of Egyptian cigarette vendors to paradise on the approach to the Suez canal. What it does call into question is the effectiveness of Long Range Acoustic Devices and the wisdom of arming seafarers to fight off pirates.

On 12th October 2000 a small boat manned by suicide bombers approached the USS Cole in Aden and exploded. Some 17 US sailors were killed many others injured, and the USS Cole was badly damaged. One can, therefore, understand the nervousness of the men aboard the Global Patriot and their quickness on the trigger.

The US Navy press release on the incident can be found here.

There were two options, to simply blow away anyone who got within a certain range, on the assumption that they must be terrorists, rather than over-eager vendors trying to earn a few bucks, or developing a non-fatal alternative that would deter attackers. Since shoot ’em first and let God sort ’em out doesn’t play well these days, the Long Range Acoustic Device, LRAD, was developed.

In theory, the LRAD sends out a concentrated beam of ear-popping sound painful enough to burst eardrums and deter attackers. A popular version is sold by American Technology Corporation .

So far, there has been only one reported successful use of this device, when the cruise ship Seabourn Spirit was attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia. However, a close reading of reports of the event must necessarily raise the question of whether it was the spirited defence of the ship by its security officer Michael Graves and his colleague Som Bahadur Gurung, which included high pressure hose and aggressive maneouvres by the master. Michael Graves suffered permanent hearing damage. Grave and Gurung deservedly were awarded the Queens Gallantry Medal and Commendation for Bravery.

LRADs were designed to be used in precisely the situation that the Global Patriot found itself in. The ship was under charter from the US Department of Defense, it seems unlikely that was equipped with anything other than most effective means of deterrent. It was, moreover, in friendly territory which yet offered the maximum opportunity for diplomatic embarrassment.

LRADs are expensive pieces of kit and are being sold to civilian vessels, as the Seabourn Spirit incident indicates, but do they actually work as a deterrent? Or was LRAD not used because of the evident dangers to its operator?

There have been frequent suggestions that seafarers should be given firearms to fight off pirates. If the well-trained forces aboard the Global Patriot can make such a massive misjudgement, then how many more people might get blown away by less well-trained seafarers?

Svitzer Korsakov Released

March 19, 2008

Agence France-Presse reports the release of the Danish-registered tug Svitzer Korsakov and its crew 46 days after it was hijacked by Somali pirates. It is understood that a ransom of some $700,000 was paid.

The vessel was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden on 1st February 2008.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper reports: “The Irish chief engineer has been named as 68-year-old father-of-four Fred Parle who is said to have come out of retirement to do one last job, delivering the 115-foot Korsakov from St Petersburg to Sakhalin Island, between north-west Japan and Russia, where it would have been servicing the oil and gas fields. ”

Denmark’s maritime authority has yet to announce whether it will independently investigate the incident as it did the Danica White.