Maritime Security News

03 Jul 2020

Dryad: Heavily Armed Men Attack Cargo Ship off Benin. Kidnap 5 Crew Members

Kota Budi - Image by Marjan Stropnik - MarineTraffic

The maritime security intelligence group Dryad has reported that general cargo vessel KOTA BUDI was boarded by heavily armed men resulting in the kidnap of 5 crew."The kidnapped crew are believed to all be Chinese nationals," Dryad said. The incident reportedly happened on Thursday.According to Dryad, the vessel can be seen to have been drifting at the time of the incident at 153nm offshore. AIS indicates that the vessel has been in position for approximately a week having previously visited the Nigerian port of Warri, Dryad said."This is the 7th incident in the waters off Benin within 2020.

02 Jul 2020

Armed Group Attacks FPSO, Kidnaps Crew in Nigeria

Sendje Berge FPSO - Image by Gwenolé de KERMENGUY/MarineTraffic

The article has been updated to include a statement by BW Offshore who confirmed the attack on its FPSO and the kidnapping of several crew members.Pirates on Thursday attacked BW Offshore's Sendje Berge FPSO and kidnapped several crewmembers.Security intel group Dryad Global first reported of the attack on the 349 meters-long FPSO on Thursday, citing a "high confidence" source."Reporting indicates that the FPSO SENDJE BERGE has been attacked by unknown armed men. Further reports indicate that up to 11 personnel may have been kidnapped from the vessel…

29 Jun 2020

Austal USA Delivers USS Oakland, the US Navy's 300th Ship

The future USS Oakland (LCS24) is the 12th Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship to be delivered by Austal USA (Image: Austal)

The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Oakland (LCS 24) Friday during a ceremony at Austal USA in Mobile, Ala. The delivery marks the final milestone prior to the ship's scheduled commissioning in early 2021.Oakland is the 22nd littoral combat ship (LCS) and the 12th of the Independence variant to join the U.S. Navy fleet. Its delivery marks the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder to the Navy, bringing the service's inventory up to 300.“This is a great day for the Navy and our country with the delivery of the future USS Oakland,” said LCS program manager Capt.

15 Jun 2020

MarAd Insights: “In peace and war” -- Even Against a Virus

The U.S. maritime industry takes great pride in our motto: “In Peace and War.” It sums what we’re all about. From colonial times, through the Revolution, the Civil War, two World Wars, several regional conflicts, and many natural and humanitarian disasters, we got the cargo delivered because our economic security and our national security depend on it.Today, we confront a new kind of enemy: an invisible, debilitating, and too often deadly disease. Yet, just as the courageous merchant…

11 Jun 2020

IMO Head Commends Nigeria's Antipiracy Efforts

© remipiotrowski / Adobe Stock

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Kitack Lim commended Nigeria’s antipiracy efforts in the Gulf of Guinea as the West African nation continues to make strides to curb attacks against ships in the world’s top piracy hot spot.Lim said recent actions made by the West African country to restrain piracy in the region “send a strong and valuable message to the international community”.The IMO head welcomed the latest initiatives to address maritime security concerns in the Gulf of Guinea…

04 Jun 2020

Fairbanks Morse Completes Engines for First OPC

(Image: Fairbanks Morse)

Fairbanks Morse announced it has completed the build and testing of the two main propulsion diesel engines for the U.S. Coast Guard’s first Heritage class Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) Argus.Fairbanks Morse was awarded contracts by the prime contractor, Eastern Shipbuilding Group, to build the engines for both Argus and the second OPC Chase.The OPC is a 360 foot-long vessel that will be powered by two FM | MAN 16V 28/33D STC diesel engines, with each engine rated 7,280 kWm (9,763 brake-horsepower) running at 1,000 revolutions per minute.

19 May 2020

Fairbanks Morse to Power USCG's OPC Ingham

(Image: ESG)

Fairbanks Morse said it has been awarded a contract by Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) to build and deliver the main propulsion diesel engines (MPDE) for the U.S. Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) Ingham (WMSM-917).Ingham is the third OPC being constructed by ESG in Panama City, Fla. The 360-foot-long cutter will be powered by two FM | MAN 16V 28/33D STC diesel engines, each rated at 7,280 kW for 14,560 kW of total propulsion power. Fairbanks Morse said it will build the engines at its Beloit…

18 May 2020

Tanker Repulses Pirate Attack in Gulf of Aden

Stolt Apal - Image Credit: Ria Maat / MarineTraffic

Armed pirates attacked a British-flagged chemical tanker in the Gulf of Aden on Sunday but were repulsed, the ship's manager Stolt Tankers said.The pirates approached the Stolt Apal in two speedboats some 75 nautical miles off Yemen, it said, in one of the most important trade routes for oil heading from the Middle East to Europe."After multiple warning shots were fired by the armed guard team aboard Stolt Apal, the skiffs opened fire on the ship. The armed guard team returned fire…

11 May 2020

Russia Tracks US, British Naval Ships in Barents Sea

The Royal Navy Type-23 Duke-class frigate HMS Kent (F78), front, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) conduct joint operations to ensure maritime security in the Arctic Ocean, May 5, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of the Royal Navy by Royal Navy Photographer Dan Rosenbaum)

Russia’s Northern Fleet is tracking a group of U.S. and British naval vessels which entered the Barents Sea on the morning of May 4, the Russian Defence Ministry was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.The U.S. Navy said earlier that four U.S. Navy ships and a Royal Navy vessel had entered the Barents Sea to conduct maritime security operations in what it called the challenging environmental conditions above the Arctic Circle.It said U.S.

11 May 2020

SCHOTTEL Equips Eight Penguin Crew Boats

Photo: SCHOTTEL

Following a testing and evaluation program, Singapore-based Penguin International Ltd. has selected SCHOTTEL’s Tunnel Thruster STT 51 FP for its flagship Flex-42X series of eight executive fast crew boats. Penguin is a designer, builder, owner and operator of high-speed crafts as well as a prolific builder of mid-sized crew boats and armored security boats for sales and charter. With a 95 kW electric motor controlled by a variable frequency drive, the STT will be installed in…

05 May 2020

Pirates Kidnap 10 Crew from Tanker off Nigeria

© Gwenolé de Kermenguy / MarineTraffic.com

Pirates have reportedly kidnapped 10 crew members from an oil tanker off the coast of Nigeria, maritime security consultancy Dryad Global reported.An uknown number of indiviudals on board a single speedboat are said to have attacked the Panama-flagged Vemahope on April 30, about 178 nautical miles south-southeast from Lagos, kidnapping 10 and leaving four crew on board. The incident took place 39 nautical miles northeast of an incident involving a vessel being fired upon in February and 101 nautical mile northwest of what appeared to be a focus of incident reporting within 2019…

05 May 2020

Eastern Lays Keel for OPC USCGC Argus

(Image: Eastern Shipbuilding Group)

Eastern Shipbuilding Group reports that the keel laying ceremony for the U.S. Coast Guard’s first-of-class Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) Argus (WMSM-915) was held on April 28, 2020 at Eastern’s Nelson Street facility in Panama City, Fla. USCGC Argus is scheduled to be delivered in 2022.The ceremony was performed and recorded without audience to comply with CDC guidelines to combat the spread of COVID-19.The keel laying represents the ceremonial start of a ship’s life by commemorating the assembly of the initial modular construction units.

04 May 2020

High-tech Solution Helps Track Illegal Vessel Activity

ICEYE radar satellite image from the Pasir Panjang container terminal of Singapore, taken on December 20, 2019. Image shows the container ports, several anchored cargo vessels, and a vessel maneuvering alongside the port. (Image: ICEYE)

Finnish startup ICEYE launched its global Dark Vessel Detection solution to help governmental maritime security customers monitor their waters for illegal vessel activity.The high-tech solution, which combines synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) satellite data from ICEYE and automatic identification system (AIS) data from vessels, is used as a source of actionable information for governments monitoring their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), day and night, and even through cloud cover.“Dark…

01 May 2020

US, UK Navies Conduct Antisubmarine Drills in the Arctic

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) makes her approach alongside USNS Supply (T-AOE 6) and USS Porter (DDG 78) for a connected replenishment (CONREP) to receive fuel and stores, April 28, 2020. CNE-CNA/C6F, headquartered in Naples, Italy, oversees joint and naval operations, often in concert with Allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa. (U.S. Navy photo)

U.S. 6th Fleet (C6F) conducted a bilateral naval anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise with the U.K., above the Arctic Circle, May 1, 2020.Four ships from two nations, a U.S. submarine, and a U.S. P8-A worked together, in the Norwegian Sea, to conduct training in the challenging conditions in the Arctic.For the exercise, Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyers USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) and USS Porter (DDG 78), and fast combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE 6), were joined by the Royal Navy's HMS Kent (F 78). Additionally, a U.S.

30 Apr 2020

Eastern Cuts Steel for Second Offshore Patrol Cutter

(Image: Eastern Shipbuilding Group)

Eastern Shipbuilding Group reports that steel cutting for the second Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC), Coast Guard Cutter Chase (WMSM-916), commenced on April 27, 2020 at its facilities in Panama City, Fla. The cutting of steel started the fabrication and assembly of the cutter’s hull, and ESG is to complete keel laying of Chase in 2021. Additionally, ESG has commenced the placement of orders for long lead time materials for OPC #3, Coast Guard Cutter Ingham (WMSM-917).Eastern’s President Mr.

20 Apr 2020

Pirates Holding Containership Crew Hostage in Gulf of Guinea

© Brian Scott / MarineTraffic.com

Pirates reportedly boarded a Portuguese-flagged containership anchored off the coast of Benin on Sunday and are believed to be holding eight crew hostage, according to maritime security consultancy Dryad Global.An unknown number of pirates in a speedboat approached the 255-meter Tommi Ritscher at the Cotonou anchorage and several of them boarded the vessel, but the speedboat later fled at the arrival of naval patrol vessel Zou, leaving an unkown number of pirates on board the 4…

16 Apr 2020

US Navy Says Iran Navy Harassed its Vessels

 Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) vessels conducted unsafe and unprofessional actions against U.S. Military ships by crossing the ships’ bows and sterns at close range while operating in international waters of the North Arabian Gulf. U.S. forces are conducting joint interoperability operations in support of maritime security in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo)

Eleven vessels from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) came dangerously close to U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships in the Gulf, the U.S. military said on Wednesday, calling the moves “dangerous and provocative.”While such interactions had occurred occasionally a few years ago, they had stopped, and this incident comes at a time of increased tensions between the two countries.According to the statement, the Iranian vessels approached six U.S. military ships while they were conducting integration operations with Army helicopters in international waters.At one point…

15 Apr 2020

Iran Briefly Detained Hong Kong-Flagged Ship

© Derrick Pinington/ MarineTraffic.com

A Hong Kong-flagged tanker was briefly detained in Iran before being freed after armed Iranian guards in speedboats directed the vessel into its waters while it was sailing through the Gulf of Oman, maritime security sources said on Wednesday.The sources said the SC Taipei chemical tanker had been sailing in international waters on Tuesday when it was stopped."The vessel was approached 48nm (nautical miles) offshore Fujairah and hailed by four skiffs carrying armed Iranian coastguard personnel…

14 Apr 2020

Armed Men Board Vessel in Gulf of Oman

(Photo: Dryad Global)

Armed men boarded a vessel at anchor in the Gulf of Oman on Tuesday but the ship was later released, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said."Vessel and crew are safe," it said in an updated advisory, urging all vessels in the vicinity to remain vigilant.UKMTO had earlier said the vessel had been at anchor around three nautical miles (nm) off Ras Al Kuh.Maritime security firm Dryad Global separately tweeted that a Hong Kong-flagged vessel had been released. It…

09 Apr 2020

Eastern Gets Green Light to Build Second Offshore Patrol Cutter

(Image: Eastern Shipbuilding Group)

Eastern Shipbuilding said the U.S. Coast Guard executed a modification to the contract to build the second Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) and Long Lead Time Materials for the third OPC. These accomplishments result from successful completion of a Production Readiness Review (PRR) in February 2020.Eastern’s President Joey D’Isernia said, "Today represents not only the continuation of production for the USCG’s future replacement of their 210-foot and 270-foot class Medium Endurance Cutters, but also an important step in the continuing recovery of Northwest Florida and ESG post Hurricane Michael.

03 Apr 2020

Ice Chart Data Satellite Network to Launch in 2022

Photo: MARIOT

A newly established consortium is going to develop a network for low Earth orbit satellites delivering ice chart data to ships at sea. A new research project called MARIOT (Maritime IoT) is going to develop a low Earth orbit satellite network based on the new VDES (VHF Data Exchange System) technology. The consortium behind the project is headed by the Danish satellite operator Sternula. The satcom developers GateHouse, Space Inventor, and Satlab as well as Aalborg University…

07 May 2020

Opinion: Maritime Freedom & the Global Commons

Freedom of Navigation: The guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) escorts the merchant vessel Tomahawk through the Strait of Hormuz.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lehman/Released)

“Freedom” – the absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic governmentIt has been decades since international relations in the world order dictated true competition for sea control, sea lines of communication, access to world markets, and diplomatic partnerships. However, it is becoming increasingly alarming that nations such as Iran, China and Russia seek to accumulate/consolidate power and re-define international maritime norms, potentially at the peril of diplomatic…

18 Mar 2020

USCG Advises on Minimizing Novel Coronavirus at Sea

© Inna/AdobeStock

The Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy has published an update March 16, 2020 to MSIB: Novel Coronavirus – Update (Change 2)An outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) may affect mariners and maritime commerce. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their Interim Guidance for Ships on Managing Suspected Coronavirus Disease 2019 (see https://go.usa.gov/xdfyG) and Cruise Ship Travel (see https://go.usa.gov/xdfVP).Illness…

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