Marine Link
Friday, October 20, 2017

Somali Pirates

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, but pirates on the ship fired on us and so the pirate boat escaped," said Abdirahman Mohamud Hassan, the director general of the maritime force in Puntland.   Pirate Abdulaahi claimed the pirates killed a member of the marine force and injured another, but Hassan said that was untrue.   Residents near the ship, which was hijacked on Monday with eight Sri Lankan crew aboard, confirmed hearing the gunfire.   In their heyday in 2011, Somali pirates launched 237 attacks off the coast of Somalia, data from the International Maritime Bureau showed, and held hundreds of hostages.   But attacks fell sharply after crews put safety measures into place and regional naval forces stepped up patrols. By Abdiqani Hassan

Somali Pirate Hijackings Increase to 15-Month High: AKE

Somali pirates hijacked 10 ships in March, the most since December, 2010, and may attack larger merchant vessels this month, AKE Intelligence said, Bloomberg reported. Four of the seized craft were used to make more attacks, rather than being held for ransom, said Rory Lamrock, a piracy analyst at the Hereford, England-based security and risk-assessment company. “Pirate syndicates will be emboldened by the latest hijackings

Somali Pirates Finally Release 'Albedo' Crew Hostages

Containership Albedo hostages: Photo ITF

The International Transport Federation (ITF) informs that 11 seafarers held hostage by Somali pirates for over three and a half years have finally been released, with the prospect of seeing their families once more after what is described as a 'terrible ordeal'.
 The seven Bangladeshi, two Sri Lankan, one Indian and one Iranian hostage were among the 23 crew on the Malaysian-owned and flagged containership Albedo when it was hijacked by Somali pirates on 26 November 2010 while 900 nautical

Somali Pirates Release Hijacked Ship, Crew without Ransom

Aris 13 (Photo: EU Naval Force)

Somali pirates released a hijacked oil tanker and its eight Sri Lankan crew on Thursday, a Somali security official and the pirates said, bringing the first hijacking since 2012 to an unusually swift conclusion without the payment of a ransom.   The release followed a gunfight earlier in the day between the pirates and the marine force, and then intensive negotiations between the marine force, clan elders and the pirates.  

Hijacking Suspected By Somali Pirates

Map by Oceans Beyond Piracy

 Somali pirates are suspected of hijacking a bulk carrier ship on one of the world's crucial trade routes, Reuters reported.   The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations piracy watchdog said on its website it had received a report from a vessel under attack and possibly boarded off the coast of war-ravaged Yemen. It gave no further details.   However, a security source working at the Puntland Marine Police Force said the vessel was Tuvalu-flagged and is known as OS35

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

Counter Piracy Commander Warns of Continuing Threat

Admiral Bob Tarrant, Operation Commander European Union Naval Force Somalia (Photo: European Union)

The Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force, Rear Admiral Bob Tarrant, has issued a renewed warning that Somali pirates are still determined to get out to sea and, if presented with an easy target, will attack. “I am very concerned that seafarers and nations will lower their guard and support for counter piracy operations in the belief that the piracy threat is over. It is not; it is merely contained," he said

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

Somali Pirates Hijack Indian Commercial Vessel

Pirates have hijacked an Indian commercial ship off the coast of Somalia, the second attack in weeks after years of inactivity, industry and security sources said on Monday.   United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), which coordinates the management of merchant ships and yachts in the Gulf of Aden area, said it had received information that a dhow en route to Bosasso from Dubai had been hijacked "in the vicinity of Socotra (Island)".  

Yemen War Adds to Shipping Fears in Horn of Africa

Photo: EU NAVFOR

Yemen's worsening conflict is contributing to a spike in piracy in the region, with Somali pirates taking advantage of a reduced international naval presence and more readily available weaponry to carry out attacks. "The regional instability caused by Yemen is important," Colonel Richard Cantrill, chief of staff with the European Union's counter piracy mission EU NAVFOR, told Reuters last week. Fighting between Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi rebels and a Saudi-led coalition has

Using Tech to Fight Piracy on the Open Sea

With maritime piracy seen on the rise once again, the shipping industry now looks to redouble its efforts to prevent these dangerous and costly attacks.   Though piracy had been on a steep decline since 2010 due to increased security efforts and precautions taken aboard ships, The State of Maritime Policy Report 2016 released last month by Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) finds that there has been decreased vigilance by the shipping community during the past few years

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

IMB Reports 87 Piracy Incidents in H1 2017

Graphics: The Standard Club

 The IMB has published its report on piracy and armed robbery for the second quarter of 2017, covering the period from 1 January to 30 June 2017. The report highlights continuing decline in the number of incidents of maritime piracy, said a press release from The Standard Club.   87 incidents have been reported in the first six months of 2017, with 63 ships boarded, eight attempted attacks, four ships hijacked and 12 ships fired upon

Pirate Attacks Still a Major Concern -Sailors’ Society

Sailors’ Society’s CEO Stuart Rivers (Photo: Sailors Society)

Global piracy continues to be a concern in the Gulf of Guinea, Southeast Asia and Venezuela, according to statistics released yesterday by the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB).   In the first nine months of 2017, 121 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported, including 92 vessels boarded with five hijackings, 11 attempted attacks and 13 vessels fired upon.  

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 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.

US Sees Piracy Increase off Somalia Tied to Famine

Cargo ship MV OS-35 was recently attacked by suspected armed pirates in the Gulf of Aden (Photo: EUNAVFOR)

The United States is closely watching a recent increase in piracy off the coast of Somalia, a senior U.S. military official said on Sunday as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited an important military base in Djibouti.   The rise in piracy attacks has at least partially been driven by famine and drought in the region, the top U.S. military commander overseeing troops in Africa said during Mattis' visit as part of a week-long trip to the Middle East and Africa.  

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 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.

China Transfers Three Pirates to Somali Authorities

OS35 (Photo: EU NAVFOR)

A Chinese navy ship handed over three suspected pirates to Somali authorities on Friday, police said, underscoring the determination of international naval forces to stamp out a resurgence of piracy this year.   The pirates were involved in the attempted hijacking in April of the OS35, a Tuvalu-flagged cargo ship that was rescued by the Chinese navy after the crew sent a distress call.   "A Chinese navy ship handed over three pirates to Puntland today," said Ahmed Saiid

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.  

Shipping’s ‘Perfect Storm’ is Brewing -Allianz

© Tim Mueller-Zitzke / Adobe Stock

 A “perfect Storm” of cyber security, regulation and cost cutting impacts global shipping, according to Allianz Safety & Shipping Review 2017   Large shipping losses have declined by 50 percent over the past decade, mostly driven by the development of a more robust safety environment by ship owners, according to Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE’s (AGCS) fifth annual Safety & Shipping Review 2017

Explosion on Ship off Somalia Coast

Flames seen rising from vessel after blast; port residents believe vessel may be foreign.   A huge explosion was heard from a ship off the coast of Somalia's Puntland region late on Monday and flames were seen rising from what might be a foreign vessel, an official in a nearby port said.   "We heard (a) huge explosion and (saw) flame rising from the ship. I believe that the ship is foreign," Ali Shire, mayor of Puntland's port town of Alula, a pirate haven

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Oct 2017 - The Marine Design Annual

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