Marine Link
Saturday, April 21, 2018

Piracy News

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.

Italian Navy Divers Practice with Explosives

(Photo: EU NAVFOR)

A team of Italian specialist Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) divers carried out mine-countermeasures training on Friday, April 13, to prepare for potential threats that may affect international shipping and delay essential sea cargoes.As part of the training, the EOD divers from Italian Navy Frigate ITS Margottini put a floating ‘dummy’ mine into the sea and then carried out a controlled explosion.ITS Margottini is currently deployed on counter-piracy operations as part of EU NAVFOR’s Op Atalanta.

Transas Adds Piracy Information Overlay

Image courtesy Transas Marine

Transas Marine has added a Piracy Information Overlay (PIO) to its Navigation product portfolio. The piracy overlay is integrated into the Transas FleetView Online SSAS-tracking software and Navi-Planner 4000 voyage planning software. The piracy data is provided by Bergen Risk Solutions and is based on intelligence from several recognized and authoritative sources on sea piracy. The service allows users to overlay piracy information onto existing data and provides them with up to date information, essential for planning avoidance measures when transiting a potential piracy area.

RMS St. Helena to Return as Anti-piracy Armory Vessel

© Bruce Salt / MarineTraffic.com

The RMS St. Helena, Britain’s last working postal ship, was for nearly three decades the main source of contact between one of humanity’s remotest islands and the outside world.Now the ship, cherished by the 4,500 residents of British-ruled St. Helena, will start a new life as a floating armory, packed with automatic weapons, bullet-proof jackets and night vision goggles, all stored for maritime security operatives.Renamed the MNG Tahiti, the 340-foot ship will undergo some tweaks…

Post-Piracy Care for Seafarers

The Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) has published Preliminary Guidelines: Post-Piracy Care for Seafarers, outlining preliminary strategies on caring for seafarers (merchant mariners) affected by piracy. The document, based on cutting-edge mental health research and ongoing discussions with shipowners, crewing agencies, representatives of governments, and other stakeholders in the industry, provides practical guidelines for the maritime industry. SCI presented the Preliminary Guidelines to Working Group Three of the United Nations Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia on January 27, prior to the Plenary Meeting of the Contact Group the following day.

Somalia Anti-piracy Projects Approved by UN

The United Nations Trust Fund for the Fight against Piracy approves projects in support of anti-piracy efforts in Somalia & other affected States in the region. Other affected States in the region, include Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Maldives and the Seychelles. The announcement was made in New York by United Nations Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, who chaired the Board of the Trust Fund to Support Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. “The dramatic decline in pirate attacks is clear evidence of years of hard work by United Nations Member States, international and regional organizations, and actors in the shipping industry,” said Mr. Zerihoun.

Beam Announces Inmarsat-Based Piracy Solution

Beam Communications Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of World Reach Limited (ASX: WRR), announces a new satellite piracy solution for secure communication on board a vessel. The new system operates with the Inmarsat satellite network. Beam’s new Oceana 800 Covert Piracy Solution provides a dedicated system for a safe room or citadel on board a vessel. The system ensures that, in the event of a piracy attack, essential communications on board the vessel can be maintained and used for alerting authorities.

Tracking Global Piracy Trends

Graph: Clarkson Research Services

Piracy has existed since the conception of shipping, and pirate attacks on vessels continue to disrupt trade, raising vessel security concerns and impacting the operation and insurance costs for ships, says Clarkson Research Services. The drivers behind piracy are wide but primarily economic and clearly, geography is also key. This month, we take a closer look at recent shifts in the regional distribution of piracy ‘hot spots’. Piracy remains a prevalent concern within the shipping industry, raising issues around vessel security, disrupting trade routes and increasing ship operation costs.

BIMCO Contributes to Piracy Status Report

Photo: Oceans Beyond Piracy

The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) informs it has continued its support for the Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) “The State of Maritime Piracy” report, which addresses how piracy is affecting the shipping industry – and beyond. BIMCO’s Chief Shipping Analyst, Peter Sand and Chief Maritime Security Officer, Giles Noakes provided OBP expert audit and shipping industry expertise to the report content. In addition Giles Noakes, will provide his expertise in global industry security practices during the panel of the launch event on June 10, 2015.

Allianz Piracy Study

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS), an insurer of ships and cargo, has released a study suggesting its clients adapt their approach to marine insurance as the threat of piracy off the Horn of Africa continues to grow. In addition, the study points out that crews entering dangerous waters must be prepared to handle an attack, and it calls for a more coordinated solution to the current wave of piracy. In a study entitled “Piracy: An ancient risk with modern faces,” AGCS suggests that special war insurance policies should be used to meet the needs of ships in high risk areas. AGCS also identifies a number of practical responses that crews can take when passing through piracy zones…

HMS Forth Commissioned

(Photo: Royal Navy)

The first of the U.K. Royal Navy's next-generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) has been formally commissioned into the fleet.Commissioned last week at her home base of Portsmouth, HMS Forth represents the second ship to join the Royal Navy in less than six months, following aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth commissioned in December. The warships are part of the government’s £178 billion plan to bolster its Armed Forces over the next decade.HMS Forth is the first of five new OPVs designed for counter-piracy…

Seafarers’ Trust Calls for Renewed Support for Expiring Piracy Response Program

The Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Progamme (MPHRP) was launched during the height of maritime piracy to provide humanitarian support to the victims of piracy and their families. The programme received funding from several groups, funding which is set to expire at the end of March. The ITF's (International Transport Workers' Federation) Seafarers' Trust, one of the programme's core sponsors, has pledged to continue funding in a statement released today, but has called for the MPHRP to become part of an existing charity by the end of 2015, citing ISWAN as an example of an optimum home for the programme. Trust funding enabled the MPHRP to make a significant contribution to the welfare support of seafarers…

Piracy on the Rise in Malacca and Singapore Straits

Image: PGI’s Risk Portal

According to PGI’s Risk Portal, there were at least 81 incidents of piracy or attempted piracy in or around the Singapore and Malacca Straits between April 2015 and April 2016. The majority of these incidents have occurred on the western approach to the narrow waterway, indicative of the heightened risk of piracy in surrounding waters. The actual number of incidents is likely higher, given that many are thought to go unreported. The high-level of piracy in surrounding waters presents security considerations for travel to and from Singapore’s port.

Pirates Make a Comeback?

Graph: Oceans Beyond Piracy

A new report by U.S.-based One Earth Future Foundation Inc.'s Oceans Beyond Piracy program found that seafaring incidents involving kidnap for ransom jumped in 2016. Asia led the way with 125 instances of piracy, while West Africa had 95. Incidents of kidnap for ransom rose in West Africa and in Asia (in the Sulu and Celebes Seas specifically) from 2015 to 2016. 2016 saw a 57% rise in the number of seafarers affected by piracy in West Africa. The total cost of counter-piracy operations in the Western Indian Ocean has steadied out at around $1.5 billion.

DOS – CGPCS Meeting Re Somali Piracy

The Department of State (DOS) issued a news release stating that the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) met in New York on May 1. Participants agreed that while piracy has been reduced dramatically through the concerted efforts of the international community and the Somali people themselves, this positive trend is inherently reversible because the fundamental conditions that permit piracy have not changed. The CGPCS committed to continuing its work to eliminate piracy emanating from Somalia, including by enabling the Federal Government of Somalia to lead an effective and sustainable response to piracy both ashore and at sea, and dealing effectively with such criminal activity by its citizens. (5/1/13). www.brymar-consulting.com  

Dubai to Host Counter-piracy Conference

Opening speaker: H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs: Photo credit ADPC

The United Arab Emirates, in a partnership between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, global marine terminal operator DP World and Abu Dhabi Ports Company, will convene a third high-level, public-private counter piracy conference, in Dubai, on 11-12 September 2013. The conference is by invitation only.

Pirate Money Trail: Report Gives Insight, Urges Tracking

Cover of the Report: Image courtesy of the publishers

A study by the International Criminal Police Organization, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and World Bank attempts to understand the illicit financial flows from pirate activities off the Horn of Africa. The study focused on: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Seychelles, and Somalia. It is estimated that  more than  US$400 million was claimed in ransoms for pirate acts between April 2005 and December 2012 and  179 ships were hijacked off the coast of Somalia and the Horn of Africa during that time.

MARAD, Anti-Piracy Website

The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a compilation of information relating to piracy in waters off the Horn of Africa, including maritime advisories, piracy statistics, a list of ships hijacked, and recommended counter-piracy measures. The information can be found at: http://www.marad.dot.gov/news_room_landing_page/horn_of_africa_piracy/horn_of_africa_piracy.htm (Source: Holland & Knight)

MPA's Anti-piracy Meet, Workshop fosters Closer Ties

Particiapnts from Africa and Asia Photo MPA

The inaugural Meeting of Anti-Piracy Contact Points and Workshop on Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships involving participants from Africa and Asia was held in Singapore today. Organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Centre (ISC), the two-day meeting gathered about 20 participants to foster closer linkages amongst anti-piracy contact points to enable more effective information sharing and communication.

Piracy Violence Continues Against Seafarers

The family of Ashphalt 2’s third engineer, seafarers and friends gather around the coffin (Photo: MPHRP)

The MPHRP highlights the hardship inflicted upon seafarers and families. Responding to recent reports on current levels of international maritime piracy, the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Program (MPHRP) noted the trend that they appear to avoid the word "piracy" in favor of new forms of criminality, specifically "attacks" and "hijacking". The technical differences denoted by these terms aside, MPHRP said a basic truth is veiled: that violent crime is committed against seafarers.

IMSN Earns DNV Certification for Anti-Piracy Course

Dania Beach, FL (April 21, 2011) – International Maritime Security Network (IMSN) has become the first maritime security training center to offer an eLearning-based Anti-Piracy Defense Course certified by Det Norske Veritas (DNV), a worldwide leading certification body offering the latest in management systems certification services, under its SeaSkill™ standard for maritime learning programs. The announcement was made by Captain Timothy D. Nease (ret.), co-founder and CEO of IMSN, at the Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) in Dania Beach, Fla.

New Counter-Piracy Task Force

The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) established Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) Jan. 8 specifically for counter-piracy operations. Naval ships and assets from more than 20 nations comprise the Combined Maritime Forces. U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Terence "Terry" McKnight has been named the commander of the new task force which will be fully operational by the middle of January. The CMF created the Maritime Security Patrol Area (MSPA) in the Gulf of Aden in August of 2008 to support international efforts to combat piracy.

Isolate Piracy Ringleaders & Financiers Advises UNODC Chief

Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime, Yury Fedotov summed up his advice at the conclusion of his East Africa visit. During the visit to East Africa, the UNODC Chief discussed counter-piracy efforts with heads of state and ministers, met with local counter-piracy and organized crime experts, and inspected prisons, and a training academy. "If we are to counter piracy, we must break-up the criminal groups, identify and isolate the ringleaders and financiers, and disrupt their cash shipments through coordinated police and border work. UNODC's role is to support the criminal justice chain. We also recognize that there is no piracy without pirates.

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