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Piracy At Sea

Counter-Piracy Tugboat & Barge Guide

ReCAAP issue 'Tug Boats & Barge' guide to help owners, operators and crew stay safe from hijacking and piracy. The guide contains inputs and experience of tug boat owners, operators and masters whose vessels had been robbed or hijacked; and modus operandi of the robbers and hijackers.  In planning a passage, the guide highlights the responsibilities of the ship owner, ship master and crew at the various phases: the pre-sailing, sailing and post incident reporting/follow-up phases. In past four years (2008-2011), it was observed that more tug boats and barges had been targets of robbery and hijacking in certain locations of Asia. The inherent characteristics and activities of tug boats towing barges had made these vessels relatively more vulnerable, particularly the low freeboard, slow speed of a tug boat which on an average moving between 8-10 knots, small number of crew onboard a tug boat, and unmanned barges with cargoes and logistic items onboard. As the annual number of incidents involving tug boats boarded by pirates / robbers has shown an upward trend between 2009 and 2011, the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) and the Information Fusion Centre (IFC) also took the initiative to jointly produce a poster entitled “Guidelines for Tug Boats and Barges Against Piracy and Sea Robbery”

Security at Sea on Agenda at Upcoming SMM Hamburg

Image courtesy of SMM

At the forthcoming SMM maritime trade fair in Hamburg in September 2014 experts will present new security concepts for sea routes. Background Security at sea is improving: In recent months, pirate attacks on commercial ships have been repelled successfully with increasing frequency. One of the reasons is the EU-led Operation Atalanta providing military protection in the Gulf of Aden. Since 1, February 2009 commercial ships have been able to use a Transit Corridor established there

New Counter-Piracy Task Force


The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) established Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) Jan. 8 specifically for counter-piracy operations. Naval ships and assets from more than 20 nations comprise the Combined Maritime Forces. U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Terence "Terry" McKnight has been named the commander of the new task force which will be fully operational by the middle of January. The CMF created the Maritime Security Patrol Area (MSPA) in the Gulf of Aden in August of 2008 to support

Mace Personal Defense Joins Piracy Battle

In an effort to combat the rapidly growing levels of piracy and armed robbery against ships around the world, Mace Personal Defense, Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of Mace Security International, Inc. (OTCQB: MACE) has formed an alliance with Shipboard Defense Systems, Inc. to develop The Shipboard Defense System, a defensive on-board system to repel pirates. The Shipboard Defense System is designed with 300 gallon pressurized tanks that include loop piping installed around a vessel allowing

Suspected Pirates Apprehended by EU NAVFOR

Photo: courtesy EU NAVFOR archive.

EU Naval Force Warship BNS Louise Marie Once Again Apprehends Suspect Pirates at Sea.     Just 12 days after EU Naval Force warship BNS Louise Marie apprehended five suspect pirates at sea off the Somali Coast, the Belgium frigate has once again located a suspect skiff - this time with three men on board.  The warship, which is operating as part of the European Union’s counter-piracy mission - Operation Atalanta

UN Security Council Addresses Piracy in Gulf of Guinea

Security Council. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The United Nations Security Council called for a comprehensive regional approach to combat the threat of piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea, and reiterated its call on Member States to prosecute perpetrators in accordance with international laws. “The Security Council expresses its deep concern at the reported number of incidents and level of violence of acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea, in the first half of 2013

UN Security Council Resolution - Somalia

The United Nations Security Council adopted another resolution expressing grave concern regarding the situation in Somalia and “over the recent increase in acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea against vessels off the coast of Somalia”. No new action against piracy was authorized by this resolution.  Resolution 1844 (2008) (11/20/08). (Source: Holland & Knight)

Counter Piracy Group Meets at UN in New York

The United States joined more than 60 nations and international organizations at the United Nations in New York on March 21, 2011, for a meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.   In a communiqué following the meeting, the Contact Group called for a renewed international commitment to combating piracy, both at sea and on land in Somalia, through robust and integrated military, law enforcement, and development activities

NATO's Weekly Piracy Assessment

Overview of week of 22-28 December 2011.   During the reporting period of 22-28 December 2011 pirate activity against vessels was low. One vessel was hijacked on 27 December approximately 50NM off the coast of Oman in the vicinity of 1818N 05736E. Details can be found in Alert 250. Masters are reminded that the threat of piracy is always present in the High Risk Area (HRA) and are advised to implement self-protection measures as recommended in Best Management Practices (BMP4)

Piracy Dropped to a 5-year Global Low in 2012

Piracy on the world's seas at a five-year low, with 297 ships attacked in 2012, compared with 439 in 2011, according to the ICC global piracy report. Extracts from the International Chamber of Commerces (ICC) –  International Maritime Bureau (IMB) annual report on piracy follow: Worldwide figures were brought down by a huge reduction in Somali piracy, though East and West Africa remain the worst hit areas, with 150 attacks in 2012.

Electronic Charts on a Paper Scale

Image: Alphatron Marine

JRC and Alphatron Marine have launched a new digital AlphaChartTable comprising of a dramatically increased 46-inch touch display where routes can be planned on a “paper chart” scale.   By use of the digital chart table, navigators are now given an intuitive and user friendly

Indian Ocean: No Insurance Premium Reduction Likely

Image: Protection Vessels International Ltd

 In October a number of trade bodies released a joint press release to formally announce a reduction of the High Risk Area (HRA).     Insurance companies have said the reduction may not result in reduced insurance costs due to the assessment of insurance risk being dependent on

Kenya Building Cruise Terminal at Mombasa

East Africa's biggest port of Mombasa will spend 100 million shillings ($980,392.16) to build a new cruise ship terminal aimed at boosting tourism, port management said on Wednesday. Piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean struck a major dent into cruise tourism in the region

Somali Pirates Hijack Iranian Fishing Vessel

Somali pirates have hijacked an Iranian fishing vessel with 15 crew members, a Somali official and a maritime expert said on Monday amid warnings that piracy might be making a comeback in the Indian Ocean.   Although there are still occasional cases of sea attacks

Indonesian Parliament Okays Subs from Russia

Image: Russian Navy

 Indonesia signaled its intent to purchase two submarines from Russia to bolster its current fleet, reports the Jakarta Post.   The government's plan to purchase Kilo-class submarines from Russia has received support from the House of Representatives Commission I overseeing defence and

US Navy Joins Piracy Battle

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist

 The United States and six other nations kicked off a five-day naval exercise Monday aimed at combating piracy and other crimes in Southeast Asia’s heavily trafficked waters, reports Stars and Stripes.   The Singapore-based Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training Exercise

Vigilance Still Crucial in Indian Ocean

  Organisations representing the global shipping and oil industry have announced that the size of the ‘High Risk Area’ for piracy in the Indian Ocean has been reduced and issued new advice to merchant ship operators. This reduction to the High Risk Area is in response to the

Security Advisory: Piracy – Revision of BMP4 High Risk Area


BIMCO says that the co-sponsors of BMP 4 have agreed to a revised definition of the High Risk Area. The High Risk Area is now defined as being bounded by: In the Red Sea: Latitude 15oN In the Gulf of Oman: Latitude 22oN Eastern limit: Longitude 065oE Southern limit: Latitude 5oS  

Re-Drawal of High Risk Area in Indian Ocean

Revision of the HRA boundary back to its original state should thus greatly reduce the insurance costs of Indian shipping companies.

  The International bodies have agreed to India’s efforts to push back the High Risk Area (HRA) from 78 degrees East longitude to the 65 degrees East longitude. This will result in huge savings for India’s EXIM trade and consumers on account of reduced insurance premium and

20 Nations Reinforce their Commitment to Fight Piracy

Rear Admiral Michael Noonan at the ReCAAP meeting

  Senior officers from Australia and 19 other nations attended the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) meeting in Sydney this week to reinforce the importance of a regional approach to combat piracy and armed robbery at sea

Asian Waters Hit by Increased Maritime Piracy

Graph: ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre

 Singapore-based anti-piracy agency, ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC) has recorded a total of 161 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia during January-September 2015.   This represents a 25 percent increase in the total incidents compared to 2014

Arrests, Prosecutions – Positive Response to Piracy

Q3 report Twitter graphics4

  Despite an overall global reduction in serious piracy attacks this year, the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC) cautions against complacency in its 2015 report for the year to 30 September. Southeast Asia cracks down

Indonesia Tops in Piracy and Armed Robbery

The main ship-types affected. Graphics by The Standard Club

 The IMB cautions against complacency in its latest report on piracy and armed robbery which covers the period from 1 January 2015 to 30 September 2015, says The Standard Club.   190 incidents have been reported to the IMB in 2015

ECSA Leads Holistic Approach to Maritime Security

Jakob Paaske Larsen (Photo: ECSA)

European shipowners have widened the scope of the former European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) Piracy Working Group, now renamed ECSA Maritime Security Working Group in a move aiming to keep the European shipping industry abreast of maritime developments.  

Stakeholders Broaden Maritime Security Scope

Image: IMO

An international agreement that has been instrumental in repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden is set to significantly broaden its scope.   Signatories to the Djibouti Code of Conduct have agreed to work toward extending its remit

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