Dryad Maritime predicts that, despite industry optimism of 2012, the end of the South West monsoon season will see the resumption of pirate attacks.
Pirate operatives have awoken from their hibernation to venture forth from safe havens and launch long-range mothership-enabled pirate operations with the first confirmed attack in the Arabian Sea earlier this week.
Dryad Maritime’s combination of monitoring and regular observation of environmental conditions has confirmed that, over recent weeks, wind speeds and wave heights across the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea have decreased heralding the approach of the inter-monsoonal period. This will create the optimum conditions for pirates to test the water further afield, no longer constrained by adverse weather conditions.
Despite the interventions carried out by international naval forces which act as a preventive measure to contain pirate motherships and skiffs in harbour; with well over 1000 miles of Somali coastline to launch from, Dryad predicts that pirates will manage to get to sea and evade military patrols in the area.
Similarly, following the end of the South West monsoon, Dryad advise that the sheer vastness of the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean will open up for pirate business. It is extremely difficult for international naval forces to comprehensively patrol such a sizeable threat area and responding to incidents in such open ocean areas is by no means instantaneous. Although there are plenty of statistics and reports to show months of inaction, Dryad Maritime have issued guidance to caution against complacency - the biggest threat to vessels at sea. Somali pirates only have to get lucky once to carry out the next successful hijacking.
Dryad’s advice to mariners focuses on continuous vigilance and strict compliance with internationally recognised measures for reducing risk. The first step to reducing risk ina high threat area is comprehensive planning taking into account the historical and current pirate threat, alongside prevailing weather conditions.
Vessels should also register with the appropriate authorities such as UKMTO and MSC HoA to let the right people know where they are and effect
timely assistance or enable proactive naval interventions should they observe or fall foul of pirate action. The risk of pirate attack and hijack can further be reduced through the provision of intelligence, constant crew vigilance, dynamic re-routing and taking appropriate measures to harden and protect the vessel.