Marine Link
Friday, October 20, 2017

Pirate Attack

Yes, Oceanographers Can Help Predict Piracy Attacks

The US Naval Meteorology & Oceanography Command named a 2013 Computerworld Honors Laureate for its counter-piracy predictive modelling. The Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NAVMETOCCOM) received the award for a modeling capability developed by Naval oceanographers at Stennis Space Center that predicts the likelihood of pirate attacks.

IDG's Computerworld Honors Program selected NAVMETOCCOM as a 2013 Laureate in the field of Safety and Security for its development of its Pirate Attack Risk Surface (PARS). The PARS model produces a forecast of shipping vulnerability due to piracy at a certain latitude, longitude, and time. A few short months before Somali pirates hijacked the U.S.-flagged MV Maersk Alabama in 2009, NAVMETOCCOM operators were asked to assist in the fight against piracy, which had been on the rise in the Somali Basin due to government instability in the region. Pirate attacks are a threat to the United States' national security and foreign policy, and they impact maritime safety, disrupt shipping and ultimately cost the world's economy billions of dollars annually. 

 Within two weeks, the command had developed the framework of the first-generation Piracy Performance Surface (PPS) model, which produced maps of probability of attack based on how environmental conditions influenced pirate small boat operations.

Ghana's Navy Frees Hijacked Tanker

Image: Ghana Armed Forces

The Ghana Navy has foiled a pirate attack on a Nigerian cargo vessel, MT Mariam and captured all eight bandits.  The pirates were armed, but no one, including a nine-member crew aboard MT Mariam, was injured when the Ghana Navy crew aboard GNS BLIKA effected the arrest.   Lt Col. Eric Aggrey Quashie, Director of Public Relations (DPR) of Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), would not say when the MT Mariam was seized by pirates

This Day in Naval History - July 21

From the Navy News Service 1823 - After pirate attack, Lt. David G. Farragut leads landing party to destroy pirate stronghold in . 1944 - Invasion and recapture of begins. 1946 - In first test of adaptability of jet aircraft to shipboard operations, XFD-1 Phantom makes landings and takeoffs without catapults from USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV 42). 1987 - Navy begins Operation Earnest Will, escorting first Kuwaiti tanker convoy in the

Chairman Cummings Statement on Piracy Hearing

On Feb. 4, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, released the statement below following today’s Subcommittee hearing on International Piracy and the High Seas: “While the term ‘pirate’ may for many conjure romantic images of swashbuckling adventurers, there is in fact nothing romantic about a poor individual from a failing state waiting in a small skiff to attack vulnerable cargo ships

Piracy: Attacks Getting Bigger, Bolder

According to data released July 14, 2011, by the International Maritime Bureau, pirate attacks off Somalia and in the GoA/Indian Ocean region climbed dramatically in the first six months of this year. Figures reveal that there were 266 attacks on vessels in this period compared with 196 attacks in 2010. “In the last six months, Somali pirates attacked more vessels than ever before and they’re taking higher risks,” IMB director Pottengal Mukundan said

Today in U.S. Naval History: July 21

David G. Farragut

Today in U.S. Naval History - July 21 1823 - After pirate attack, Lt. David G. Farragut leads landing party to destroy pirate stronghold in Cuba. 1944 - Invasion and recapture of Guam begins. 1946 - In first U.S. test of adaptability of jet aircraft to shipboard operations, XFD-1 Phantom makes landings and takeoffs without catapults from Franklin D. Roosevelt. 1987 - Navy escorts first Earnest Will Convoy in the Persian Gulf.

Economic Effects of Pirate Attacks

McQuilling Services, LLC, marine transport advisors, released a message addressing the economic impact of pirate attacks on tankers. Excerpt: “The recent pirate attack on the VLCC Sirius Star – 319,430 dwt built 2008 – that took place offshore Kenyan coast, has implied a new magnitude of possible security impacts on the tanker shipping markets. An increasing threat from the Somali pirates is present in that region and the additional insurance premiums are being paid by

LRAD Assisting in Fight Against Piracy

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American Technology Corporation (ATC) (NASDAQ:ATCO), a provider of directed sound products and technologies, announced that its LRAD systems are being used in increasing numbers as domestic and international military and maritime security forces escalate their efforts to combat 21st century piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the Horn of Africa. American Technology created the Long Range Acoustic Device over eight years ago in response to the attack on the USS Cole.

Seafarer Voices: Piracy on the High Seas

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A YouTube video series describing pirate attacks.   Among discussions of anti-piracy measures in the Gulf of Aden and special courtrooms in the Seychelles and Mauritius, the maritime industry has begun to broach a gentler, less politically hot topic in the wake of 237 pirate attacks off coast of Somalia in 2011. What happens to seafarers, held often for months on end, after release from a pirate hijacking? Their untold stories comprise part of a video interview compilation by the

Iran Navy Repels Pirate Attacks

Image: Iran Military

Iran’s 33rd naval fleet has foiled pirate attacks on two Iranian tankers during the first days of its presence in the open waters and the Gulf of Aden.  The timely presence and action of the Iranian Navy’s 33rd Flotilla thwarted the attack by pirate speed boats, equipped with various weapons, on an Iranian oil tanker in the waters of the Gulf of Aden three days ago, forcing the pirates to flee the scene.  

Maritime Piracy on the Rise -Report

In March fuel tanker Aris 13 was attacked by armed pirates off the coast of Somalia (Photo: EU NAVFOR)

Pirates and armed robbers attacked 43 ships and captured 58 seafarers in the first quarter of 2017, slightly more than the same period last year, according to the latest ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) piracy report. The global report highlights persisting violence in piracy hotspots off Nigeria and around the Southern Philippines – where two crew members were killed in February. Indonesia also reported frequent incidents, mostly low-level thefts from anchored vessels.

Somali Pirates Hijack Iranian Fishing Vessel

Somali pirates hijacked an Iranian fishing vessel on Tuesday to use as a base to attack bigger, more valuable ships, the mayor of a Somali town said, part of an upsurge in attacks following years of relative calm.   Crews have let security procedures slip in recent years and travel far closer to pirate-infested shores than authorities recommend, shipping sources say. The pirate gangs launch small, fast skiffs from bases on shore to try hijack vessels.  

Pirates Fire on M/T Muskie

Armed pirates chased and fired upon the M/T Muskie while the laden tanker was transiting the Bab el-Mandep strait, as pirate activity continues its resurgence in the region.   The tanker’s on board security team was mobilized and forced the pirates to abort the attack.   M/T Muskie is owned by Prime Marine Management, who reported all crew to be safe as the vessel continues its voyage en route from Fujairah, United Arab Emirates to Rabigh, Saudi Arabia

BIMCO Names Philip Tinsley as Head Of Maritime Security

Philip Tinsley. Photo: BIMCO

 BIMCO has appointed Philip Tinsley as its new Head of Maritime Security.  Tinsley joined the association in 2015 and assumes his new position after the sad and untimely death of his colleague, Giles Noakes, earlier this year.   Before joining BIMCO, Tinsley spent 31 years with the Royal Marine Commandos – an elite specialist unit of the British Royal Navy, where he reached the rank of Major. His time with the military included both coastal and shore-side operations on a

Shippers Avoid New "pirate hotspot" west of Philippines

file Image: Pirates off the coast of Somalia are intercepted and disarmed. (Credit: EUNAVFOR)

Piracy has surged in Sulu, Celebes Seas; waters part of route carrying iron ore to Asia.   A surge in piracy to the west of the Philippines is forcing shipowners to divert vessels through other waters, stoking their costs and extending the time it takes to transport goods such as Australian iron ore to key Asian destinations.   There have been 16 attacks since last March on ships in the Sulu and Celebes Seas, through which about $40 billion worth of cargo passes each year

MASS continues to support Maritime Anti-piracy Operations

Boarding team from EU Naval Force combat support warship FGS BERLIN stops a suspicious skiff. Photo courtesy Operation Atalanta

The European Council has extended the mandate for European Union Naval Force Somalia (EU NAVFOR) - Operation ATALANTA - until 31 December 2018, which means Cohort company MASS will continue to provide the Classified Mission Network for the enduring Operation. Operation ATALANTA was launched in December 2008 to contribute to the deterrence, prevention and repression of acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast

Pirates Kidnap Cargo Ship Crew Nigerian Waters

Pirates have kidnapped seven Russians and one Ukrainian after attacking the cargo ship the BBC Caribbean off the coast of Nigeria, the Russian embassy said on its official Twitter account. The embassy has asked Nigerian authorities to assist in locating the abducted people, it said late on Tuesday. The Nigerian navy and police were not immediately available for comment. The general cargo vessel BBC Caribbean is managed by Briese Schiffahrts.

Somali Force, Pirates Exchange Gunfire

Somali maritime forces have exchanged gunfire with the hijackers of an oil tanker in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, the head of the maritime force said.   This is the first time Somali pirates have taken over a commercial ship since 2012 and locals blame the attack on foreign fishermen flooding into their waters, and are also angry with their government for licensing some of the ships.   "We tried to intercept a boat that was carrying supplies to the pirates

Pirates Seize Somali Vessel to Use as Floating Base

Pirates have seized control of a Somali fishing boat to use as a base from which to attack larger ships, police said on Friday, a week after Somali pirates hijacked their first commercial vessel since 2012.   Ten Yemeni crew aboard the boat were dumped on shore, officials told Reuters.   "We understand that pirates hijacked the fishing vessel to hijack a big ship off the ocean," said Abdirahman Mohamud

India, China Navies Thwart Somali Pirate Attack

A Chinese navy ship supported by an Indian navy helicopter thwarted an attack by suspected Somali pirates on a Tuvalu-flagged merchant ship, India's defence ministry said on Sunday.   The ship, known as OS 35, was reported to be under attack on Saturday.   The Indian defence ministry said four of its navy ships in the vicinity responded to a distress signal from the ship and reached the bulk carrier early on Sunday.  

Somali Pirates Flee Hijacked Dhow, Taking Crew

Somali security forces rescued a hijacked Indian cargo dhow on Monday, but pirates took the 11-member crew with them when they fled to land, authorities said.   The Al Kausar vessel was seized earlier this month, part of a sudden string of attacks by Somali pirates after years without a reported incident.   "We attacked the Indian ship and rescued it but the pirates took away the 11 crew. We rescued two crew and they went with nine crew into the hilly areas between El Hur

Somali Security Captures 10 Pirates

file Image: (CREDIT / EUNavfor)

Somali forces who have surrounded pirates holding hostages taken from an Indian ship secured the surrender of 10 members of the band on Tuesday and enlisted the parents of the other three to persuade them to give up, officials said.   Regional security forces rescued the Indian cargo dhow Al Kausar on Monday but pirates who seized it earlier this month escaped beforehand with nine crew members as bargaining chips to try to force the release of pirates jailed in India.  

Somali Forces Clash With Pirates, Free Indian Ship Crew

Somali security forces clashed with pirates early on Wednesday and freed nine seamen kidnapped on an Indian cargo ship this month, officials said. The pirates seized the dhow Al Kausar off Somalia's coast, part of a surge of attacks after years without a reported incident. The kidnappers took the crew onshore in central Galmudug state on Monday and clashed with troops two days later, the territory's minister for ports and sea transport, Burhan Warsame, said.

Armed Pirates Thwarted off Somalia

Boarding team on board MV Costina (Photo: EU NAVFOR)

A European Union counter-piracy patrol helped thwart a piracy attack close to Somalia’s east coast on April 22.   Late on Saturday evening, EU NAVFOR’s Spanish flagship, ESPS Galicia, received a SOS distress call from the master of Sierra Leone flagged merchant tanker vessel MT Costina to say that his vessel was being attacked by a number of armed pirates in a fast-moving skiff.   ESPS Galicia, which was 14 nautical miles away

Life Sentence for USS Ashland Attacker

Suspected pirates skiff burns after being burnt near the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland in 2010. (U.S. Navy photo/ Harry J. Storms)

A 31-year-old Somali man was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for engaging in piracy and other offenses in connection with an attack on a U.S. Navy ship seven years ago, the U.S. Justice Department said. Mohamed Farah, 31, of Somalia was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison for his role in the attack, the Justice Department said in a statement. Another five Somalis have already been tried and convicted for their roles in the attack and are serving prison terms

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Oct 2017 - The Marine Design Annual

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