Marine Link
Friday, February 23, 2018

Western Indian Ocean News

Navies Bust $274 million of Heroin

A Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion flies past HMAS Warramunga's boarding team during an operation in the Western Indian Ocean. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Australian and New Zealand joint forces have seized 915 kilograms of heroin, valued in excess of $274 million, in a counter-narcotics operation in the Western Indian Ocean. HMAS Warramunga’s crew has conducted one of the largest drug seizures in Operation MANITOU’s history as part of the Australian-led Combined Task Force 150. In a joint counter-narcotics operation, the Royal Australian Navy and the New Zealand Defence Force seized 915 kilograms of heroin valued in excess of AUD$274 million.

IMO Anti-piracy Code – South Africa Signs Up

The Code of Conduct concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden (Djibouti Code of Conduct) has been signed on behalf of South Africa by the South African High Commissioner, His Excellency Dr. Zola Skweyiya, who was attending an IMO Conference on 'Capacity Building to Counter Piracy off the Coast of Somalia'. South Africa has become the 19th State to sign the Code of Conduct, set up by IMO to develop regional capacity to counter piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Western Indian Ocean. The other signatories are: the Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan…

Indian Naval Ships Call At Port Louis, Mauritius

INS Kolkata at Port Louis, Mauritius. Photo: Indian Navy

Indian Naval ships Kolkata and Aditya, under the Command of the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, are in Mauritius since 1st September 2016, in a demonstration of India's commitment to its ties with Mauritius and to promote maritime security in the Indian Ocean region. INS Kolkata is commanded by Captain Rahul Vilas Gokhale and INS Aditya is commanded by Captain Vidyanshu Srivastava. The ships are part of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet based at Mumbai under the Western Naval Command and are on a two month long deployment in the Western Indian Ocean.

Cooperation key to Enhancing Maritime Security in Indian Ocean

Image: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Further cooperation on maritime security in the western Indian Ocean area was discussed between members of International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretariat and staff from the EU Critical Maritime Routes Indian Ocean (CRIMARIO). The talk focused on cooperation with Member States to enhance information sharing in the region. They also discussed an EU-funded project to develop an Indian Ocean regional information sharing and crisis management network (IORIS-CMN). In addition…

EU Shares Counter-piracy Knowledge with Tanzania

Atalanta and EUCAP Nestor hosted two training sessions for Tanzanian Maritime Police and Navy in Dar es Salaam to share knowledge and experiences in fight against piracy in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean region. (EU NAVFOR Photo)

On Monday, February 24, European Union counter-piracy operation Atalanta and EUCAP Nestor, the civilian-led Maritime Security Capacity building EU Mission, hosted two training sessions for Tanzanian Maritime Police and Navy in Dar es Salaam to share knowledge and experiences in fight against piracy in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean region. The practical trainings held on board the EU Naval Force flagship, FS Siroco, were carried out by experienced trainers and dealt with typical piracy related situations.

Navy Seizes Suspected Pirate Ship

The Norfolk, Va.-based USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) seized a suspected pirate ship 87 km (54 nm) off the coast of Somalia. The Navy says the vessel stopped 54 miles off the coast of Somalia after the Churchill fired warning shots. U-S sailors boarded the ship and confiscated small arms. The ship (a dhow) is suspected of having fired on a merchant vessel passing off the coast of Somalia. There were 16 Indians and 10 Somalis aboard the dhow, along with various small arms. The Navy says U.S. sailors boarded the suspected pirate ship in the Indian Ocean and detained the 26 men for questioning. Sailors aboard the pirate ship told Navy investigators that pirates hijacked their vessel six days ago near Mogadishu and used it to stage attacks on merchant ships.

Indian Warships Visit Port Victoria

Photos supplied by Indian Navy

In a demonstration of India’s commitment to its ties with Seychelles and maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region, Indian Naval Ships Kolkata, Trikand and Aditya under the Command of the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, Rear Admiral Ravneet Singh,NM have arrived at Port Victoria on a two day visit, says a government press release. INS Kolkata is commanded by Captain Rahul Vilas Gokhale, INS Trikand is commanded by Captain Arjun Dev Nair and INS Aditya is commanded by Captain Vidyanshu Srivastava.

Counter-piracy Measures Still Needed

Photo: International Maritime Organization

​Merchant shipping should continue to take protective measures against possible piracy attacks in the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean through diligent application of International Maritime Organization (IMO) guidance and Best Management Practices (BMPs). IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and Operation Commander Major General Rob Magowan of the EU Naval Force Operation Atalanta, which operates off the coast of Somalia, reiterated this key message when they met at IMO Headquarters in London on 6 October.

Kenya Signs Maritime Piracy Agreement

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Kenya has become the 13th signatory to the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct – the instrument developed and adopted by countries in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden that has been a key factor in repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships operating in that region. Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mozambique, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen are other countries to sign it.

Armed Guards Repel Pirate Attack on Tankship

TORM Tanker: Photo courtesy the owners

Armed guards employed aboard the Danish MR product tanker 'TORM Kansas' recently succeeded in deterring an attack by a group of pirates in the western Indian Ocean. The ship owners inform that the Indian master, his crew and the employed armed guards are safe and suffered no injuries as theyshowed great skill in deterring the attack. No pirates were hurt either. The MR product tanker TORM Kansas was in open sea at the time of the incident, enroute from Sikka in India to Mossel Bay in South Africa (position latitude: 007…

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.

3rd Regional Maritime Crime Conference

Participants included prosecutors from Somalia, Djibouti, Seychelles, Mauritius, Yemen, Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar

The 4th prosecutors from around the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean region have gathered in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, for the Third Regional Conference of Prosecutors dealing with Piracy and other Maritime Crime. They were joined by key international players working on capacity building. The event ends on 4th December 2014. The event was co-hosted by the Tanzanian Director of Public Prosecution Office and the EU’s Regional Maritime Security Capacity Building Mission in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean, EUCAP Nestor.

Modi Makes Waves in Indian Ocean

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi offering prayers at the Naguleswaram Temple, in Jaffna, Sri Lanka (Photo by Press Information Bureau, Government of India)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived back home after five days tour of three Indian Ocean countries. His tour has served to reclaim some of New Delhi’s lost footing in the area. New Delhi accepts that India can less afford its past passivity regarding its maritime backyard. Tangible evidence is Narendra Modi's three-nation Indian Ocean tour. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Indian Ocean sojourn -which took him to Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka, last week, infused fresh energy into India's mantle as the fulcrum of stability in the Indian Ocean.

Stakeholders Broaden Maritime Security Scope

Image: IMO

An international agreement that has been instrumental in repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden is set to significantly broaden its scope. Signatories to the Djibouti Code of Conduct have agreed to work toward extending its remit to address other illicit maritime activity that threatens safety and security in the region, such as marine terrorism, environmental crimes, human trafficking and Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Greek Frigate Joins EU Counter Piracy Operation

Photo: EU NAVFOR

Hellenic Navy warship, HS Psara joined EU Naval Force Somalia, Operation Atalanta Wednesday, February 20. The Greek Navy frigate left the Salamina Naval Base on Thursday, February 13. HS Psara will be part of the EU’s counter-piracy operation in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean for a period of three months. The warship previously participated in EU Naval Force between December 2008 to April 2009. HS Psara is a Hydra class frigate and was commissioned into the Greek Navy in 1998.

Spanish Vessel Joins Operation Atalanta

Photo: EU NAVFOR

EU Naval Force reported today that the Spanish Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), ESPS Relámpago joined its force to perform counter-piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia. Contributing to Operation Atalanta, ESPS Relámpago is the new Spanish contribution in place of ESPS Tornado which is now on her way home. ESPS Relámpago and her 83 crew will be part of the EU Naval Force for four months. Deputy Commander of EU Naval Force, Rear Admiral Bartolomé Bauzá said, “I am very pleased to see Spain’s ongoing contribution to Operation Atalanta.

China Warship Escorts Somali Food Aid Ship

Food ship escort: Photo credit EUNAVFOR

'CNS Mianyang' takes over escort duties of a World Food Programme (WFP) aid ship from Italian warship 'ITS Zeffiro'. The Italian warship had been escorting the WFP vessel since she entered the pirate High Risk Area in the Western Indian Ocean a few days earlier. At an agreed location, CNS Mianyang took over the duty to escort through the Gulf of Aden to Djibouti. The WFP ship being due to arrive in the African port shortly. Speaking about the cooperation between the European Union and the Chinese Navy…

IMO Supporting Kenya’s Maritime Security

Photo:  International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is leading a maritime security table-top exercise in Mombasa, Kenya (April 21-22) as part of the Organization’s continuing work to implement the Djibouti Code of Conduct. National officials from key ministries and departments are taking part in a range of evolving scenarios involving both routine business and during an incident, which aim to promote an integrated, whole-of-government approach to maritime security measures and maritime law enforcement.

Training for Port Security Staff in Guinea

Image: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Port security officials in Guinea have undergone training on complying with International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s maritime security measures. They are being trained in how to perform their duties in line with SOLAS Chapter XI-2, the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS Code) and related guidance. The event in Conakry, Guinea (20-24 November) is being organised in conjunction with Guinea’s Maritime Authority and the Ministry of Transport. The training involves Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs) and representatives of the Designated Authority (DA).

Somalia Signs on to Combat Piracy

© mathesius / Adobe Stock

Somalia has become the latest to sign the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct, developed and adopted by countries in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden that seeks to repress piracy and armed robbery against ships operating in the region. Adopted in January 2017, the amendment broadened the scope of the Djibouti Code, covering measures for suppressing a range of illicit activities, including piracy, arms trafficking, trafficking in narcotics, illegal trade in wildlife…

Chinese Warships Enter East Indian Ocean

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) VanderWolf)

Eleven Chinese warships sailed into the East Indian Ocean this month, a Chinese news portal said, amid a constitutional crisis in the tiny tropical island chain of the Maldives now under a state of emergency. A fleet of destroyers and at least one frigate, a 30,000-tone amphibious transport dock and three support tankers entered the Indian Ocean, news portal Sina.com.cn said, without linking the deployment to the crisis in the Maldives or giving a reason. "If you look at warships and other equipment, the gap between the Indian and Chinese navy is not large," Sina.com.cn said on Sunday.

Yachties Keep Out of Pirate Hi-Risk Area Warns EUNAVFOR

ISAF members visit: Photo courtesy of EUNAVFOR

If there was ever a good reason to heed naval forces’ warnings about the continuing threat from Somali piracy, then an attack on a super tanker is surely one of them. A fully laden super tanker was attacked by eight armed pirates recently, 230 miles off the Somali coast, with the attack only being thwarted by the armed security team on board. Because of their vulnerability, it is highly recommended that all sailing yachts, under their own passage, should remain out of the High Risk Area (Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Western Indian Ocean).

IMO SecGen Receives ASRY Donation at Bahrain Event

ASRY Presentation: Photo credit IMO

Following Bahrain's 2012 IMO World Maritime Day Parallel Event, Mr. Sekimizu received US$50,000, from ASRY towards IMO’s maritime security activities. The cheque from local shipbuilding and repairers ASRY was presented by Daij Bin Salman Al Khalifa, Chairman of ASRY, in the presence of Hassan Ali AlMajed, Chief of the Port and Maritime Authority, Ministry of Transportation. It was requested that the fund should be used for IMO’s projects addressing piracy off the coast of Somalia and in the Indian Ocean. Mr.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Feb 2018 - Cruise Ship Annual

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