Piracy News

23 Sep 2020

A Killing at Sea Implicates the Armed Forces in Lawless Venezuela

© Capt. Silverio Balbuena / MarineTraffic.com

Around midnight on February 23, Eulalio Bravo, a marine electrician, was dozing in his rack aboard the San Ramon, an oil tanker anchored off the coast of Venezuela.Suddenly, he heard footsteps pounding along the passageway outside. His captain, Jaime Herrera, cried for help."Be still!" an unfamiliar voice ordered.A gun fired.By the time Bravo and eight other shipmates emerged to see what had happened, the captain lay dead, a gunshot in the back of his head. Herrera's stateroom had been pillaged, drawers flung open, his bunk overturned.

23 Sep 2020

Poulsson Reappointed as ICS Chairman

Esben Poulsson (Photo: ICS)

The board of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) reappointed Esben Poulsson, the current Chairman of ICS for a further two-year term.Having been at the helm of the shipping industry trade association since 2016, Poulsson has overseen ICS’s engagement with international bodies, national governments, and industry organisations on the key issues impacting international shipping. In the past year, under Poulsson’s leadership, ICS submitted, along with other industry partners…

16 Sep 2020

Unmanned Piracy Detection Vessel Launched

Narwhal Star USV (Image: Star International)

A new unmanned surface vessel (USV) launched by U.K.-based marine and offshore services firm Star International has been designed for use by shipping operators to identify piracy threats and inform evasive actions.The Narwhal Star USV is an oceangoing rigid inflatable boat (RIB) surveillance platform that can be piloted via a remote ground control system (GCS), or used as a conventional, manually piloted vessel. The USV has been designed for rapid deployment from a parent vessel and can be launched using a standard davit or cargo crane.Jeff Antley…

09 Sep 2020

Damen Lays Keel for South African Patrol Boat

(Photo: Damen)

On August 28, Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) held a keel-laying for the second of three Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels (MMIPV) that it is building for the South African Navy’s Project BIRO.The South African Navy’s Project BIRO aims to develop maritime security, ensuring the country’s capabilities to respond effectively, rapidly, and cost-efficiently to maritime threats such as piracy and illegal fishing.The MMIPVs draw on proven technology from Damen’s standardized range of patrol boats…

08 Sep 2020

Report: Reefer Ship Attacked Offshore Nigeria. Two Crew Members Kidnapped

Image by Roli B - MarineTraffic.Com

Maritime security intelligence agencies have reported that the Water Phoenix reefer vessel was boarded Tuesday morning off Nigeria by an unknown number of persons and that two Russian nationals have been kidnapped.Per Praesidium International, a risk consultancy and maritime security company, the incident happened at 5:50 a.m. UTC Tuesday, approximately 34 nautical miles south of Lagos."According to the initial reports, the perpetrators managed to board the vessel and kidnap the master and another crew member…

29 Aug 2020

Report: Pirate Attack on Oil Tanker Thwarted Off Ghana

Image Credit: Praesidium International

An attempted pirate attack on the Marshal Islands-flagged tanker Pike was reportedly thwarted on Friday morning offshore Ghana.According to Praesidium, a maritime security intelligence firm, the tanker, which had left Lagos the day before, was approached on Friday around 0350 UTC by a small craft with six to eight persons aboard.“Perpetrators attempted to board the vessel, but evasive maneuvers performed by the Master hampered their attempt. The vessel and crew are reported safe…

26 Aug 2020

Authorities Convene to Combat Piracy and Sea Robbery in Asia

Masafumi Kuroki, Executive Director of ReCAAP Information Sharing Center noted the rising number of piracy and sea robbery incidents in Asia, and urged maritime authorities to enhance patrol and law enforcement particularly in the areas of concern. (Photo: ReCAAP ISC)

Maritime regulatory and law enforcement authorities from Asia, Australia and Europe convened virtually on Tuesday to address piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia.During the virtual Capacity Building Workshop, host ReCAAP Information Sharing Center (ISC) and participants from its member countries shared the information and assessment of the latest situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia, in particular, in the areas of concern. They also discussed the…

23 Aug 2020

Tanker Boarded by Somali Police is Safe and Underway

(Photo: EU NAVFOR)

A Panama-flagged ship boarded by Somali police is safe and underway, the EU Naval Force said on Saturday, after conflicting reports two days earlier about whether it had been hijacked by Somali pirates.The Aegean II had originally altered its course due to a damaged hull and after local police had boarded it, "there had been certain incidents on board the vessel", the EU force said in a statement."At this point, it cannot be classified as a maritime security incident, but a more detailed investigation is in progress…

21 Aug 2020

Somali Pirates Release Last of Hostages Captured in 2015

© Vitaliy / Adobe Stock

Somali pirates have released three Iranian hostages held for five years, a maritime security official said on Thursday, as conflicting reports emerged whether another ship had been seized after a three-year hiatus in hijackings.The three Iranians are the last of the crew of the Iranian fishing vessel FV Siraj, which was captured by pirates on March 22, 2015.‚ÄúThis marks the end of an era of Somali piracy and the pain and suffering of Somalia‚Äôs forgotten hostages,‚ÄĚ said John Steed‚Ķ

20 Aug 2020

Somali Pirates Hijack Panama-flagged Tanker

Somali pirates are said to have hijacked a ship for the first time since 2017, reportedly taking control of the Panama-flagged tanker Aegean II. (© Bettina Rohbrecht / MarineTraffic.com)

A merchant ship has reportedly been hijacked off the northeast coast of Somalia, marking the first successful hijacking by Somali pirates since 2017.The Panama-flagged ship was en route from the United Arab Emirates to Mogadishu port when it appeared to develop mechanical problems, Reuters reports.The 112-meter chemical tanker Aegean II was said to be attacked by six armed pirates on Wednesday night, according to maritime security intelligence group Dryad Global, who described…

12 Aug 2020

Nigeria Convicts First Pirates Under New Maritime Law

© promesaartstudio / Adobe Stock

A Nigerian court made the first convictions under a new anti-piracy law, giving hope to the world's shipping fleets that legal reforms will help stem rising attacks in the Gulf of Guinea.The three men fined by the court in Port Harcourt, Nigeria's oil hub, on Tuesday were among nine accused of hijacking the tanker MV Elobey VI off Equatorial Guinea in March and securing a $200,000 ransom for the crew.The merchant shipping industry has long pressed Nigeria to take action in the area…

07 Aug 2020

Nigeria: FPSO Workers Released after Kidnapping

Sendje Berge FPSO - Image by Gwenolé de KERMENGUY/MarineTraffic

Offshore workers kidnapped from an FPSO offshore Nigeria in an armed pirate attack in July, have been released, the owner of the floating production unit said Friday.In an incident that occurred on July 2, nine Nigerian crew members aboard the BW Offshore-owned Sendje Berge FPSO were kidnapped.BW Offshore said Friday the workers had been released."BW Offshore is very pleased that all of the offshore employees have been safely released.

07 Aug 2020

The Beirut Explosion Was Exceptional but Events Leading up to It Were Not

(UN Photo/Pasqual Gorriz)

At the time of writing at least 100 people have lost their lives and a further 4,000 have been wounded following an explosion in the Port of Beirut. While the actual cause remains uncertain, the tragedy calls to attention the tremendous consequences of a lack of port security.The explosion, on August 4, at around 6 p.m. local time, appears to have been fueled by 2,750 tons of the highly reactive chemical ammonium nitrate. The chemical had been the cargo on a ship, the the MV Rhosus, which entered the port at Beirut in 2013 due to a lack of seaworthiness and was prohibited from sailing.

03 Aug 2020

Canada's First Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship Delivered

The first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS), Harry DeWolf, was handed over on July 31, 2020, in Halifax, marking the delivery of the first ship in the largest fleet recapitalization Canada’s peacetime history. (Photo: Royal Canadian Navy)

The first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS), Harry DeWolf, was delivered to the Government of Canada on July 31, 2020, in Halifax, N.S.Built by Irving Shipbuilding, the new 6,615-metric-ton, 103.6-meter ship is the largest vessel ever built in Canada in a combat package as well as the largest Navy vessel built in the country in more than 50 years. It is also the first warship to be delivered as part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), with many more ships to come as part of the Navy's future fleet.

31 Jul 2020

Maritime Security: Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail

© Denys Yelmanov / Adobe Stock

North America is historically one of the world‚Äôs safest regions for maritime transit and operations. Our data shows that of the 2,915 reported global maritime crime incidents that have occurred in the last decade, only nine of them took place in North America. This figure comes from a range of threats against both commercial, and pleasure craft vessels, primarily, attempted, or successful: attacks, suspicious approaches, illegal boardings, hijackings, kidnappings, robberies and exchanges of gunfire. This is what many of us boil down to the eye-catching buzzword ‚Äúpiracy‚ÄĚ.

28 Jul 2020

Pirates Attack Another Offshore Vessel in Mexico

Image by Jorn Prestien/MarineTraffic

An offshore supply vessel was reportedly attacked offshore Mexico on Friday, July 24, in an incident that was described as a "violent armed boarding and robbery of personal belongings."The maritime safety intelligence company Dryad said Monday that the offshore supply vessel Natalie was boarded while conducting operations in the vicinity of the ODIN Offshore platform 12nm NE of Coatzacoalcos."It is understood that the vessel was boarded early morning within hours of darkness.

24 Jul 2020

Warship Escorts New Ferry through the Gulf of Aden

Bajamar Expess trimaran being escorted by the Spanish frigate ESPS Santa Maria

A new Australian-built passenger ferry bound for service in the Canary Islands was escorted by EU anti-piracy forces as it made its way through one of the world's top piracy hot spots.The first of two new ferries built by Austal Australia for operator Fred. Olsen Express, the 118-meter trimaran fast ferry Bajamar Express requested support of EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta for its along transit the International Recommended Transit Corridor through the Gulf of Aden and Bab al-Mandab Strait…

24 Jul 2020

Asian Piracy Incidents Double in H1 2020

Of the 51 piracy incidents reported through the first six months of 2020, 31 (61%) occurred to ships at anchor/berth and 20 (39%) to ships underway. (© hit1912 / Adobe Stock)

The number of reported attacks against ships has doubled in Asia over the first half of 2020, elevating security concerns for mariners across the region.A total of 51 cases of piracy and armed robbery against ships (including 50 actual incidents and one attempted incident) were reported in Asia from January through June 2020, up from 28 incidents (25 actual and three attempted) during the same period for 2019, according to ReCAAP Information Sharing Center's (ISC) latest half-yearly report.A growing number of attacks occurred in one of the world's busiest shipping lanes…

20 Jul 2020

Crew Kidnapped from Tanker in the Gulf of Guinea

© Martin Smith / MarineTraffic.com

Armed pirates have reportedly kidnapped 13 seafarers from a Liberian-flagged product tanker in the Gulf of Guinea off West Africa, continuing a rise in attacks on vessels in the world's most dangerous piracy hot spot.The Curcacao Trader was approached by eight armed individuals aboard a single speedboat and boarded 232 nautical miles southwest of Lagos, Friday. Among those abducted are seven Russian nationals, according to the Russian embassy in Nigeria. The other five crew members…

16 Jul 2020

Gazprom Neft Sells Its First Arctic Oil Cargo to China

© Owen Foley / MarineTraffic.com

Russia's Gazprom Neft has sold its first ever Arctic oil cargo to China to ChemChina, two sources familiar with the deal told Reuters on Thursday.This week, Gazprom Neft said it had sent 144,000 tonnes of light Novy Port oil grade to the Chinese port of Yantai on the Bohai Sea from Russia's north-western city of Murmansk, using the Northern Sea Route (NSR) through Russia's Arctic waters.The Delta Hellas vessel used part of the NSR, a route requiring icebreakers and ice-class tankers, Refinitiv Eikon data showed, sailing west from Murmansk to reach Suez and then China.Gazprom Neft said this wee

15 Jul 2020

Crew Kidnappings Soar in West Africa

Sendje Berge FPSO - Image by Gwenolé de KERMENGUY/MarineTraffic

Crew kidnappings and violent attacks on vessels in the oil-rich West Africa region have soared in 2020, with 77 seafarers taken hostage or kidnapped for ransom since January, according to the ICC International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) latest piracy report.The Gulf of Guinea off West Africa is increasingly dangerous for commercial shipping, accounting for just over 90% of maritime kidnappings worldwide. Meanwhile, ship hijackings are at their lowest since 1993, the report said.“Violence against crews is a growing risk in a workforce already under immense pressure…

15 Jul 2020

Total Shipping Losses Are Declining, But Challenges Persist -Report

The car carrier Golden Ray sits capsized in St. Simons Sound, Ga. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Brian McCrum)

The record low 41 large shipping losses worldwide in 2019 represents a 20% improvement year-on-year and almost 70% over a decade, but the coronavirus crisis could endanger the long-term safety improvements in the shipping industry for 2020 and beyond, as difficult operating conditions and a sharp economic downturn present a unique set of challenges, according to recent report from marine insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS).Consequences of coronavirus and a sustained…

14 Jul 2020

American Maritime Partnership Honors Actor Tom Hanks

© Walter Cicchetti / Adobe Stock

Trade group American Maritime Partnership (AMP) announced it is honoring Oscar-Winning actor Tom Hanks with the celebrated American Maritime Hero Award. The award recognizes individuals or groups of individuals who have added to the rich heritage of the United States as a maritime nation through their professional contributions, courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities.Hanks has drawn global attention to the bravery of maritime heroes by starring in the film “Captain Phillips…

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