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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Pirates Attack News

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.

Indonesia Scores Highest Number Of Pirate Attacks

Indonesia scored the highest number of pirate attacks in the first quarter of the year with 19 raids or attempted raids on shipping in its waters, the International Maritime Bureau reported. For all of last year, a total 113 piracy cases were reported in Indonesian waters, 18 of them in the first quarter. There were 56 pirate attacks or attempted attacks worldwide in the first quarter of 2000, down from 66 in the same period last year, the report said.

FS Nivôse Saves Nordneptun from Pirates

Photo courtesy EU NAVFOR

A helicopter from the EU NAVFOR warship FS Nivôse was launched against a pirate skiff leading to the disruption of a pirate attack against the merchant vessel Nordneptun off Zanzibar, Tanzania on the morning of 25 May. EU NAVFOR continues to successfully patrol, intercept and disrupt pirate attacks throughout the EU NAVFOR area of operations. The French EU NAVFOR warship Nivôse responded immediately to a distress signal from Nordneptune, a tanker, which indicated she was under small arms attack from a pirate vessel.

EU NAVFOR, Seychelles Coastguard Cooperation

In the evening of December 6, approximately 250 nautical miles North West of Victoria Seychelles a pirate attack group was neutralized by EU NAVFOR and the Seychellois Coast Guard. On December 5th an EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft, stationed at the Seychelles, located a suspected pirate attack group with one mother skiff and two attack skiffs. EU NAVFOR French warship FS Floreal was tasked to close the group and the Seychellois Coast Guard also responded to the request by sending their patrol vessel Topaz. At first light, EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft relocated the suspected pirated attack group and directed both vessels to that position. On arrival of the Coast Guard vessel, the helicopter of FS Floreal assisted the Topaz crew with the intercept and securing the area.

Yes, Oceanographers Can Help Predict Piracy Attacks

The US Naval Meteorology & Oceanography Command named a 2013 Computerworld Honors Laureate for its counter-piracy predictive modelling. The Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NAVMETOCCOM) received the award for a modeling capability developed by Naval oceanographers at Stennis Space Center that predicts the likelihood of pirate attacks. IDG's Computerworld Honors Program selected NAVMETOCCOM as a 2013 Laureate in the field of Safety and Security for its development of its Pirate Attack Risk Surface (PARS). The PARS model produces a forecast of shipping vulnerability due to piracy at a certain latitude, longitude, and time. A few short months before Somali pirates hijacked the U.S.-flagged MV Maersk Alabama in 2009…

Pirates Losing Battle to Capture Ships

Piracy Patrol: Photo credit NATO

The NATO  piracy update mentions in its overview of the week, four piracy related incidents in the High Risk Area (HRA):  a Pirate Attack Group (PAG) was disrupted (017/12), one merchant vessel was hijacked (Alert 018/12), one merchant vessel was approached by suspected pirates (NSC 010/12) and one merchant vessel was attacked ( 019/12). As the monsoon period is over and the sea state becomes more favourable for small boats, it is expected that Pirate Attack Group activity will increase in the weather transition period.

Modern-day Piracy Threatens Cruises

The Carnival-owned cruise liner Seabourn Spirit recently fended off a pirate attack along Africa's eastern coast, with one person sustaining injuries. The attempt to hijack a cruise ship highlights the pirates' growing audacity — wielding rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns, says a recent ABC News report. Since March, 29 attacks have occurred off the coast of Somalia. Although this was the first attack on a cruise ship in more than a decade, pirates attacked 205 ships in the first nine months of 2005 compared with 251 in the same period a year ago, according to the report. Indonesian waters pose the greatest danger with 61 incidents in the first nine months of 2005 and a total of 93 attacks reported in 2004.

Maersk Alabama Capt. Honored at Annual Dinner

The officers and crew of the Maersk Alabama, who fought off a pirate attack earlier this year, will be represented by Captain Richard Phillips, Chief Engineer; Michael Perry, and Bosun William Rios in accepting an Honored Seafarers plaque at the 40th annual United Seamen's Service (USS) Admiral of the Ocean Sea dinner on November 13, 2009. "We are pleased that all three unions aboard the ship will be represented by the vessel department heads at this signature maritime event," said Edward R. Morgan, USS President. The unions are the International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots, Marine Engineers Beneficial Association and the Seafarers International Union of North America.

Piracy – Latest NATO Update

Photo credit NATO

During the reporting period of 05 to 11 April 2012 there was one hijacking (which was subsequently freed), one attack and one suspicious approach in the high risk area (HRA). As it is now the monsoon transition period and the sea states continue to be favourable for small boats, it is expected that (PAG) activity will continue to increase. No incidents in – Southern Red Sea (SRS)/Bab Al Mandeb (BAM) / Gulf of Aden (GOA)/Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) over the past week.

Pirates Attack Fishing Vessel near Malacca Strait

Map of Strait of Malacca. By Welt-Atlas

Pirates attacked the fishing trawler Maju Jaya in Malacca Strait in Tamiang water in North Sumatra, Indonesia on July 26. Another fishing boat closed Maju Jaya from portside, two armed pirates went on board of Maju Jaya, threatening crew. The pirates were armed with guns and other weapons, locked the crew on the bridge and stole jewelry, mobile phones, technologies and etc. Crew unharmed. After that they abandoned the ship into a fast boat and headed to unknown direction. The crew got again the control of the fishing trawler after about 1-2 hours and headed to the island…

Ghana's Navy Frees Hijacked Tanker

Image: Ghana Armed Forces

The Ghana Navy has foiled a pirate attack on a Nigerian cargo vessel, MT Mariam and captured all eight bandits. The pirates were armed, but no one, including a nine-member crew aboard MT Mariam, was injured when the Ghana Navy crew aboard GNS BLIKA effected the arrest. Lt Col. Eric Aggrey Quashie, Director of Public Relations (DPR) of Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), would not say when the MT Mariam was seized by pirates. The small tanker's owners, using an onboard tracking device, informed Ghanaian authorities of its position in Ghanaian waters on Saturday.

Japan Chides SE Asia Regarding Piracy

A Japanese maritime safety expert chided Southeast Asian countries on Tuesday for failing to cooperate fully in the fight against pirate attacks in their waters. Hiroshi Terashima, executive director of The Nippon Foundation, told a conference on piracy that more than 80 percent of Japan's oil imports pass through the narrow Malacca Strait between Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, and it was vital it was kept safe. Attacks on ships jumped by 57 percent worldwide in 2000 with more than half of the incidents in Southeast Asian waters. Terashima told the conference that cooperation in fighting pirates in the Malacca Strait, one of the world's busiest sea lanes, was essential. But he said cooperation was not good.

Cummings Statement, Maersk Alabama

April 8, Congressman Elijah E. “My deepest thoughts and prayers go out to the crew of the Maersk Alabama, as well as their families, as they endure this difficult time. It is my hope that this situation will be resolved as quickly and as safely as possible, and the DOD has my full support and confidence in its ability to handle this delicate situation. “Piracy in the high seas is a very serious problem that threatens the lives of innocent mariners and poses a challenge to the shipping industry during a deepening economic recession. With more than 50 pirate attacks this year off the Somali coast—including at least six commercial vessels this past week alone—it is clear that the problem is rapidly getting worse. “The U.S.

Pirates Attack More Ships off Somalia

Reuters has reported that Somali pirates attacked five more ships this week after a failed attempt to seize a luxury liner, in a sharp rise of banditry apparently directed by a mysterious "mother ship" prowling the Indian Ocean. Most vessels escaped, but one was commandeered, bringing to nine the number of vessels being held captive along with their crews by pirates working the lawless southern section of the failed state's coastline, Africa's longest. Officials said five vessels were attacked this week following Saturday's attempt to board the Bahamas-registered Seabourn Spirit, which was carrying 151 Western tourists. Rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles were fired at the U.S.-owned Spirit by gunmen in two small speedboats…

Piracy: Attacks Getting Bigger, Bolder

According to data released July 14, 2011, by the International Maritime Bureau, pirate attacks off Somalia and in the GoA/Indian Ocean region climbed dramatically in the first six months of this year. Figures reveal that there were 266 attacks on vessels in this period compared with 196 attacks in 2010. “In the last six months, Somali pirates attacked more vessels than ever before and they’re taking higher risks,” IMB director Pottengal Mukundan said. They fired on ships for the first time during the monsoon season last month, he said. Pirates hijacked one in eight vessels attacked in the first half of the year, compared with one in four a year earlier, the report showed.

Crew of 5 American Vessels Honored for Bravery

The officers and crews of five American ships and a seafarer who extinguished a fire on a vessel will be honored for heroism by United Seamen's Service at the 40th annual Admiral of the Ocean Sea dinner on November 13, 2009. The AOTOS honors this year will go to Donald Kurz of Keystone Shipping Co., Ron Widdows of Neptune Orient Lines and the United States Coast Guard, which will receive a special award. The Honored Seafarer awards will go to the officers and crew of the Maersk Alabama, who fought off a pirate attack while maintaining control of the ship 350 miles off the coast of Somalia and whose captain was taken hostage, April 8-13, 2009.

Piracy Attacks Surge

Piracy attacks on oil tankers surged to unprecedented levels during the first quarter of 2001, reinforcing fears that the onslaught will sooner or later result in ecological catastrophe. "There has been an increase in the number of tankers attacked," Jayant Abhyankar, deputy director of piracy investigator the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said. Nearly half of the 56 cargo ships attacked in the first quarter of the year were tankers, compared to 28 percent in last year's first quarter, according to the IMB's latest report. Last week, Abhyankar warned a tanker owners' conference that pirate attacks on tankers in Asia's crowded shipping lanes were a growing threat to navigation.

S. Korea Ship Counter-piracy Measures Introduced

A law revision requires South Korean ships to build safe areas (citadels) against pirate attacks. The recently passed revision, passed in the National Assembly on Nov. 22, 2012, obliges the construction of a so-called "citadel" inside ships that have to sail through international waters reports the Yonhap News Agency. When the revision will go into effect is not yet known, but it is expected to come into force soon. Previously there had been no related laws requiring owners to provide such safe areas, crew members have been left vulnerable to pirate attacks. There have been a total of nine cases where South Korean sailors were kidnapped in waters off Somalia since 2006. Six of the cases involved Korean ships, while two were Japanese and one was Singaporean.

Chairman Cummings Statement on Piracy Hearing

On Feb. 4, Congressman Elijah E. “While the term ‘pirate’ may for many conjure romantic images of swashbuckling adventurers, there is in fact nothing romantic about a poor individual from a failing state waiting in a small skiff to attack vulnerable cargo ships with a rocker-propelled grenade launcher. Piracy threatens the lives of innocent mariners and threatens to increase shipping rates at a time of deepening economic recession. “As we learned in today’s hearing, international piracy on the High Seas is a complicated issue that cannot be resolved overnight. The U.S. Coast Guard and Navy have been critical in preventing and intervening in pirate attacks through Combined Task Force 151 and its Coast Guard law enforcement detachment…

World Piracy Up 40% In 1999

Pirate attacks worldwide surged 40 percent in 1999 as economic and political troubles in Indonesia spurred a dramatic increase in incidents in Southeast Asia, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB). The number of actual and attempted pirate raids increased to 285 last year from 202 in 1998, agency officials said. Indonesia accounted for 113 of the attacks, almost double its 1998 total of 60. The increase is probably due to the economic situation and political instability following the resignation of former President Suharto in 1998, officials said.

Somali Piracy Contact Group: UN Plenary Meeting

The United States will join partners from over 85 countries, international organizations, & the private sector at the United Nations in New York on 1st May, 2013. The Contact Group is a growing diplomatic effort that is taking action against criminal activity that threatens commerce and humanitarian aid deliveries along one of the world’s busiest shipping corridors. On May 2, the Contact Group will hold a symposium, “Creating Economic Opportunities for Somalis,” at the Institute for International Education. The plenary, chaired by the United States, will be the fourteenth gathering of this outstanding international partnership. Since its initial meeting in January 2009, the Contact Group has nearly tripled in size while successful pirate attacks have declined by 75 percent.

Pirate Attacks at its Lowest Since 1999

According to the Hartford Courant, pirate attacks on ships fell last year to their lowest since 1999 as incidents declined off Indonesia, the world's most dangerous area for piracy. Attacks off Somalia and Iraq surged. Attacks dropped 16 percent, to 276. About 440 crewmembers were taken hostage last year, the highest since data has been compiled in 1992. Indonesia, whose oil-rich Aceh province has been struck by a separatist rebellion, accounted for almost a third of the attacks, with 79 incidents last year, down from 94. The government and a separatist rebel movement known as GAM signed a peace accord in August in their third attempt in four years to end a conflict that has killed more than 12,000 people in the southeastern Asian nation since 1976.

Reminder of Best Practices Following Pirate Attacks

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood reminded mariners about the importance of taking necessary precautions and implementing best practices in the wake of recent attacks on the M/V Harriett and Maersk Alabama off the coast of Somalia. “These ships’ successful defense against pirates should serve as a reminder to the maritime industry of the best practices that can keep crews safe on the seas,” said Secretary LaHood. “Mariners should heed the lessons learned from past attacks and review defensive measures so that they are prepared when traveling through high-threat areas. The U.S. government will continue to work with ship operators to protect U.S. Last week, the M/V Harriett thwarted a pirate attack by outrunning the pirate ship.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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