Somali Coast News

06 Aug 2019

China Mulls Hormuz Naval Escort Role

File Image: A Chinese Naval Frigate underway. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Vanderwolf

China might escort Chinese commercial vessels in Gulf waters under a U.S. proposal for a maritime coalition to secure oil shipping lanes following attacks on tankers, its envoy to the United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday."If there happens to be a very unsafe situation we will consider having our navy escort our commercial vessels," Ambassador Ni Jian told Reuters in Abu Dhabi."We are studying the U.S. proposal on Gulf escort arrangements," China's embassy later said in a text…

19 Jul 2019

Operation Atalanta Welcomes ESPS Canarias

Image: EUNAVFOR

European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia officially welcomed the ESPS Canarias as she began her most recent deployment with Operation Atalanta.The ESPS Canarias will sail with Operation Atalanta alongside the ITS Marceglia from the end of July 2019 until early November 2019, countering piracy and monitoring fishing activity off the Somali coast.Spain continues to show its commitment to the defense of international rights in the Area of Operations and has contributed naval assets…

01 Jul 2019

MSCI Advisory: Regional Conflict and Piracy

Logo: MARAD

2019-007-Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Indian Ocean-Violence Due to Regional Conflict and PiracyDescription:This revised advisory cancels U.S. Maritime Advisory 2018-0151. References: (a) U.S. Maritime Alerts 2018-001A, 2018-002A, 2018-002B, 2018-005A, and 2018-007A2. Issues: Regional conflict and piracy threats continue to pose potential risks to commercial vessels operating in the above listed geographic areas.3. Conflict in Yemen continues to pose potential risk to U.S.

30 Oct 2018

Pirate Whaler Seized and Destroyed

Photo: EU NAVFOR

EU NAVFOR military personnel seized an active Pirate Action Group (PAG) whaler and destroyed it on Sunday, October 28, 2018This followed a sustained period of surveillance after a piracy attack was conducted against the Hong Kong-flagged Bulk Carrier KSL Sydney on October 16, 340 Nm off the coast of Somalia.Rear Admiral Alfonso Perez de Nanclares, the EU NAVFOR Force Commander, ordered counter-piracy forces to the area for further investigation. EU NAVFOR Spanish Maritime Patrol…

31 Jul 2018

EU Okays Operation Atalanta HQ Move to Spain

Photo: EU NAVFOR Somalia

The headquarters of the EU’s anti-piracy missions off the coast of Somalia will be moved from the UK to Spain next year as EU leaders revealed the latest consequence of Brexit."EU NAVFOR confirms that following the decision from the Council of the European Union the mandate of Operation ATALANTA will continue until 31 December 2020," said a press release. EU NAVFOR Somalia, also known as Operation Atalanta, is a current counter-piracy military operation at sea off the Horn of Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean…

23 Feb 2018

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.

23 May 2017

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.

05 May 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.

04 Apr 2017

Seized Indian Vessel Moved to Undisclosed Location

Pirates who hijacked an Indian cargo dhow with 11 crew on board have moved the vessel to an undisclosed location within Galmudug waters off the Somali coast until their ransom demands are met, a pirate leader told Reuters on Tuesday. The vessel, Al Kausar, was initially taken to El Hur, near the port of Hobyo in Somalia's semi-autonomous Galmudug state but was then moved to avoid approaching security personnel, pirates said. Pirate leader Aw Kombe said negotiations were ongoing with businessmen in Kismayu over the release of Al Kausar, which was seized on Saturday. "The traders want the dhow released without (any) ransom (being paid) but my friends say they (will) not release it without (getting) at least some cash," he added.

31 Mar 2017

Aerial Drone Scans for Pirates off Somalia

Photo: EU NAVFOR

A team of antipiracy personnel currently on patrol off Somalia has deployed an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to help scan for potential pirate activity in the region. As part of the counter-piracy military operation EU NAVFOR Somalia, also known as Operation Atalanta, the UAV crew from Spain’s 11th Squadron has been conducting air surveillance and reconnaissance patrols off the Somali coast using its ScanEagle drone from the deck of Spanish Navy ship ESPS Galicia. Once in the air…

24 Mar 2017

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.

15 Mar 2017

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.

14 Mar 2017

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.

24 Jan 2017

MASS continues to support Maritime Anti-piracy Operations

Boarding team from EU Naval Force combat support warship FGS BERLIN stops a suspicious skiff. Photo courtesy Operation Atalanta

The European Council has extended the mandate for European Union Naval Force Somalia (EU NAVFOR) - Operation ATALANTA - until 31 December 2018, which means Cohort company MASS will continue to provide the Classified Mission Network for the enduring Operation. Operation ATALANTA was launched in December 2008 to contribute to the deterrence, prevention and repression of acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast. The operation also protects vessels of the World Food Programme and other vulnerable shipping…

20 Nov 2016

Piracy in Somalia Still Exists

Photo: Global Security

The threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia looms large despite significant gains made against it, says Andrew McLaughlin, the Program Officer in charge of Global Maritime Security at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). He told Xinhua that in Kenyan capital Nairobi that a fragile political, economic and security situation in Somalia could provide a fertile ground for piracy to thrive. The last wave of Somalia piracy peaked in 2011 with 176 attacks. It declined to almost nothing by 2015…

08 Nov 2016

Ships More at Risk After First Somali Pirate Attack in Years

File photo: Euronav

Merchant vessels sailing through busy shipping lanes between Somalia and Yemen may be underestimating the risk of piracy and terrorism following two attempted attacks last month, maritime officials say. More than 40 percent of the world's seaborne oil supplies pass through the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea, a major shipping lane also used to move exports and commodities such as food between Asia and Europe. The European Union's counter-piracy naval force (EU Navfor) confirmed on Nov. 4 that six armed men attacked chemical tanker CPO Korea 330 nautical miles (610 km) east of Somalia on Oct.

06 May 2016

Somalia: IMB Warns Vessels to Remain Vigilant Despite Drop in Piracy

Pic: UN

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has warned foreign vessels to remain vigilant when sailing in the Horn of Africa, despite a lull in piracy incidents in the region. The IMB stated that there had been no piracy incidents reported off the Somali coast between January and March 2016 due to the deployment of warships to prevent such attacks. However, it warned Somali pirates still had the capacity to carry out attacks in the region and that one successful hijacking could see a resurgence of piracy in the Horn of Africa.

30 Mar 2016

Piracy Drives Toward Southeast Asia

Image by EUNAVFOR

Dryad Maritime's COO, Ian Millen says that when looking at the volume of maritime crime and piracy events, the numbers drive you toward Southeast Asia. With a 10% rise in 2015 incidents, when compared to 2014, the area leads the crime league table. It’s worth noting that much of the reported crime is of the less serious type (eg. theft of ships’ stores etc), but this does sit alongside more serious vessel hijack for the purposes of refined product cargo theft – and we saw a spate of this last year.

24 Dec 2015

China to Start Its First Naval Base in Africa

China Navy Archives: Djibouti navy soldiers salute in front of China's hospital ship Peace Ark at the port of Djibouti, Sept. 29, 2010.

China is going to build a base in Djibouti, so that will be their first military location in Africa. With the establishment of a base in Djibouti, China joins the global contest for maritime and commercial supremacy, reports Al Jazeera‎. China has long had an economic foothold in Africa, but the base would be an expansion of its military prowess beyond the Asia-Pacific region. The agreement opens the door to the creation of a permanent Chinese military presence on the African…

16 Sep 2015

Losses Impacting Marine Cargo Insurance Market

Logo

Speaking at this year’s IUMI annual conference in Berlin, Nick Derrick, Chairman of IUMI’s Cargo Committee warned that large cargo losses were having a significant impact on the marine insurance sector. “Tianjin port covers an area of around 125 sq km”, says Derrick, “but only a small part of the port was affected by the explosion. Even so, we are expecting to see cargo losses of at least USD1.5 billion with some reports stating that the final figure could be as high as USD6 billion.

09 Sep 2015

Collective Efforts Helped Curtail Piracy Attacks

EU COUNTER-PIRACY OPERATION ATALANTA EXTENDED TO END OF 2016

At a breakfast meeting earlier today with senior shipping industry representatives, the EU Naval Force Operation Commander, Major General Martin Smith MBE, stated that whilst Somali-based piracy in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden is suppressed, there is no room for complacency regarding the ongoing threat. Major General Smith welcomed the significant reduction in pirate attacks since 2012, stating that this had been achieved by the ‘collective effort’ of shipping companies and dedicated naval forces, including the European Union Naval Force.

28 Aug 2015

Iranian Ship, Crew Escape Captivity off Somali Coast

An Iranian fishing vessel and its crew have escaped after being held captive for five months by Somali fishermen, maritime piracy experts said on Friday, but it was not clear how many crew members had escaped. Jaber, an Iranian fishing vessel believed to have up to 19 crew, was captured on March 26, along with another Iranian fishing vessel, Siraj. Local officials accused them of illegal fishing in Somali waters. Although there are still rare cases of sea attacks, piracy in the Indian Ocean has largely subsided in the past three years, mainly due to shipping firms hiring private security details and the presence of international warships.

27 Mar 2015

China Strengthens Maritime Ties with Pak

Image: Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLAN)

The Vice Chairman of China's Central Military Commission General Fan Changlong has pledged to deepen maritime security and military technology cooperation during his meeting with the Pakistan Navy Chief Muhammad Zakaullah. Zakaullah said that Pakistan Navy and Chinese Navy are strengthening their existing maritime cooperation keeping in view the changing regional international scenarios. Zakaullah yesterday met with Admiral Wu Shengli, commander of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLAN) and said that the navies of Pakistan and China have been cooperating for decades.

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