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Sunday, October 21, 2018

International Maritime Bureau News

Missing Tanker Docks in Togo after Suspected Hijacking

© F. Ybancos / MarineTraffic.com

A tanker with 19 crew members on board has docked at a port in Togo after going missing for over a week in a suspected hijacking off the West African coast, the crew's agency said on Friday.The Ialkani agency and the ship's managers lost communication with the Panama-registered Pantelena on August 14, when it was about 17 miles (27 km) from the port of Libreville, in Gabon.Two Russian nationals and 17 Georgians were aboard the vessel, a dual purpose oil or chemicals tanker managed by Athens-based Lotus Shipping.

Piracy Risk Persists in Gulf of Guinea -Report

© xmagics / Adobe Stock

The second quarterly report from the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) shows that all 2018 crew kidnappings have so far occurred in the Gulf of Guinea in six separate incidents.A total of 107 incidents were reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) in the first six months of 2018. In total, 69 vessels were boarded, with 23 attempted attacks, 11 vessels fired upon and four vessels hijacked. No vessels were reported as hijacked in the second quarter.The number of crewmembers


Tanker with 19 Crew Missing in Piracy-Plagued West African Waters

© John White / MarineTraffic.com

A tanker vessel with 19 crew members on board, most of them Georgians, has gone missing in pirate-plagued waters off Gabon in West Africa and no word has been heard from it for a week, the ship's managers and the crew agency said on Wednesday.Communication was lost with the Panama-registered Pantelena at about 2 a.m. local time on Aug. 14, at which time it was about 17 miles from the port of Libreville, in Gabon, Athens-based Lotus Shipping said in a statement.The head of the Georgian crew agency Ialkani, Anzhela Oganesyan, said two Russian nationals and 17 Georgians were aboard the tanker.

Somali Pirates Hijack First Ship since 2012

Pirates have hijacked an oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew on board, Somali authorities said on Tuesday, the first time a commercial ship has been seized in the region since 2012. Security forces have been sent to free the Aris 13, a regional police official said late on Tuesday. "We are determined to rescue the ship and its crew. Our forces have set off to Alula. It is our duty to rescue ships hijacked by pirates and we shall rescue it," Abdirahman Mohamud Hassan, director general of Puntland’s marine police forces, told Reuters by phone. Puntland is a semi-autonomous northern region of Somalia. Alula is a port town there where pirates have taken the tanker. Experts said the ship was an easy target and ship owners were becoming lax after a long period of calm.

Pirates Demand Ransom for Tanker Seized off Somalia

Pirates off the coast of Somalia, who hijacked an oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew on board, are demanding a ransom for the release of the vessel, the EU Naval Force said. The pirates seized the Comoros-flagged Aris 13 tanker on Monday, the first such hijacking in the region since 2012, and took it to the port of Alula in the semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland. "The EU Naval Force ... has received positive confirmation from the master of ... Aris 13, that his ship and crew are currently being held captive by a number of suspected armed pirates in an anchorage off the north coast of Puntland, close to Alula," the force said in a statement late on Tuesday.

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.

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. "There has been discussion going on after the gunfight of this afternoon ...

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, head of maritime police forces in the semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland. "They dropped its 10 Yemeni crew and a Somali guard inland and disappeared with the boat together with the food, cook, captain and engineer," he told Reuters. Residents of Marrayo, a northern village near the pirate lair of Eyl, confirmed that pirates from their village had gone to hunt potential targets.

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)". A spokesman said UKMTO could not confirm the location of the vessel, which he identified as Al Kausar, or what exactly had taken place, and that investigations were continuing. "We understand Somali pirates hijacked a commercial Indian ship (and it is heading) towards Somalia shores


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. It said the crew had taken refuge in the ship's strong room, known as the citadel, once they learnt they were under attack in line with established safe shipping operating procedures. "An Indian Navy helicopter undertook aerial reconnaissance of the merchant vessel at night, and at sunrise ...

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. In total, 33 vessels were boarded and four fired upon in the first three months of 2017.

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, the deputy director of maritime police forces in the semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland.

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. "A group of Somali pirates captured an Iranian fishing vessel and are using it as a mother ship in order to hijack (other) ships," Ali Shire, the mayor of Haabo in the northern semi-autonomous region of Puntland, told Reuters. "The Iranian fishing vessel does not have a licence (to fish) in Puntland," he added.

Piracy Comes Back in Somalia

Photo: UK Chamber of Shipping

Piracy in Somalia is making a comeback and the Gulf of Guinea remains the world’s most active hotspot for crew kidnappings,  UK Chamber of Shipping said quoting latest data. The report said that during the first three months of 2017, armed pirates hijacked two vessels off the coast of Somalia, an area in which previously no merchant ship had been hijacked for five years. Four further incidents in the region were also attempted this past quarter, according to the latest report from the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC).

Shipping’s ‘Perfect Storm’ is Brewing -Allianz

© Tim Mueller-Zitzke / Adobe Stock

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. In 2016 there were 85 total shipping losses reported, down 16 percent from 101 a year earlier. The number of shipping incidents declined slightly year-on-year by 4 percent with 2,611 reported, according to the review, which analyzes reported shipping losses over 100 gross tons.

Piracy Situation Serious in Gulf of Guinea

Photo: European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA)

European shipowners are concerned about the continued piracy, armed robbery attacks and kidnapping for ransom events in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), and particularly off Nigeria. According to the latest International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy report in total 33 vessels were boarded and four fired upon in the first three months of 2017 worldwide. During the same period, of the 27 seafarers kidnapped for ransom, 63% were in the Gulf of Guinea. In its Global Maritime Security Conclusions adopted 19 June, the Environment Council recognised the problematic situation in the Gulf of Guinea.

Global Piracy Declines in First Nine Months of 2017

Graphics: International Chamber of Commerce's (ICC) International Maritime Bureau's (IMB)

A total of 121 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in the first nine months of 2017, according to the International Chamber of Commerce's (ICC) International Maritime Bureau's (IMB) latest quarterly report on maritime piracy. The flagship global report notes that, while piracy rates were down compared to the same period in 2016, there is continuing concern over attacks in the Gulf of Guinea and in South East Asia. The increase in attacks off the coast


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. While this is a decrease compared to statistics from the same period in 2016


Maritime Piracy Activity is at a 22-year Low -Report

In March 2017 fuel tanker Aris 13 was attacked by armed pirates off the coast of Somalia (Photo: EU NAVFOR)

Global maritime piracy activity fell to its lowest level in over two decades, according to the latest International Maritime Bureau (IMB) report. The 180 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships reported to the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) IMB in 2017 was the lowest annual number since 1995, when 188 incidents were reported. According to the IMB, pirates boarded 136 vessels in 2017, while 22 attacks were attempted, 16 vessels fired upon and six vessels hijacked.

Oil Tanker with 22 Crew Missing in Gulf of Guinea

A ship carrying 22 Indian crew and 13,500 tons of gasoline is missing in the Gulf of Guinea after contact was lost in Benin on Friday, the company and India's minister of external affairs said on Sunday. The Gulf of Guinea has become an increasing target for pirates who steal cargo and demand ransoms, even as piracy incidents fall worldwide, experts say. The Marine Express tanker, managed by Hong Kong-based Anglo-Eastern, was last see in Benin's waters at 3:30 a.m. GMT on Friday after which contact was lost, an Anglo Eastern spokesman told Reuters. The cause of the loss of communication was unknown and a search was underway, conducted with help from Nigerian and Beninese authorities, Anglo-Eastern said.

Pirates Free Tanker, Crew in Gulf of Guinea

Pirates freed a ship carrying 22 Indian crew and 13,500 tonnes of gasoline on Tuesday, Hong Kong-based Anglo-Eastern, which was managing the ship, said in a statement. "All crew members are reported to be safe and well and the cargo remains on board," the company said. The Marine Express tanker was missing in the Gulf of Guinea after contact was lost in Benin on Friday. The Gulf of Guinea has become an increasing target for pirates who steal cargo and demand ransoms, even as piracy incidents fall worldwide, experts say. Ships in the area were the target of a series of piracy-related incidents last year, according to a January report by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), which highlighted the waters off West Africa as an area of growing concern.

Pirates Attack Chemical Tanker off Somalia

Picture courtesy of http://www.shipspotting.com and lk.lv/en/lsc-shipmanagement/EU Navfor

Suspected Somali pirates attacked a Singaporean-flagged chemical tanker on Friday but were repelled by guards on board, the European Union's Naval force said, the first such incident in several months. EU Navfor said in a statement the 50,000 metric tonne MT Leopard Sun was sailing from Sohar in Oman to Cape Town, South Africa, when it was attacked by two skiffs 160 nautical miles (295 km) off the coast of Somalia. "The skiffs approached from the stern and fired upon her, after which the on-board Private Armed Security Team returned fire with warning shots," EU Navfor said.

Pirate Attacks Worsen in Gulf of Guinea - IMB

Photo courtesy ICC

A surge in armed attacks against ships around West Africa is pushing up global levels of piracy and armed robbery at sea, warns the International Chamber of Commerce's International Maritime Bureau (IMB). IMB's Piracy Reporting Center recorded 66 incidents in the first quarter of 2018, up from 43 for the same period in 2017, and 37 in Q1 2016. Worldwide in the first three months of 2018, 100 crew were taken hostage and 14 kidnapped from their vessels. A total of 39 vessels were boarded, 11 fired upon and four vessels hijacked. IMB received a further 12 reports of attempted attacks.

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