Radio Programme of Note: The Sea Gangsters

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Apr 132011
 

BBC Radio does its usual splendid job of reportage with Tom Mangold at the helm in this investigation of the changes in piracy in the past 18 months..

The recent murder of four innocent civilian hostages aboard their yacht ‘Quest’, the kidnapping of children aboard a Danish yacht, and the hi-jack of the giant oil tanker ‘Irene’ are game changers in the ever growing scandal of international piracy. Piracy Inc. is getting bigger, nastier and richer by the week – at the expense of the freedom of Western sea trade.

The new sea gangsters now have some 20 mother ships, most driven by hostage slave crews operating with virtual impunity on sea lanes stretching from Africa to India. The recent escalation highlights the impotence of the West’s navies in facing the threat. Paralysed by indecision, the British and their NATO allies have virtually no authority to disarm, attack or aggressively confront the enemy. Only India, Russia and South Korea have taken the law into their own hands and blasted the Somali pirates out of the water when and where they have caught up with them – but at a price. Continue reading »

MV SUSAN K pirated only 35 nautical miles from Omani coast

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Apr 082011
 

Susan K

In the early morning of 8 April, the General Cargo ship MV SUSAN K was pirated approximately 200 nautical miles North-East of Salalah, Oman; a location only 35 nautical miles from the Omani coastline.

The vessel was attacked and boarded by at least 10 pirates although exact details of the attack are not known at this time.

The Antigua & Barbuda flagged and German owned vessel was on its way to Port Sudan (Sudan) from Mumbai (India) when it was attacked.  The MV SUSAN K has a crew of 10 (4 Ukraine and 6 Filipino). There is no further information about the crew at present.

The MV SUSAN K was registered with MSC(HOA) and was reporting to UKMTO.  EUNAVFOR are continuing to monitor the situation.

First ISC Opens in Mombasa

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Apr 042011
 

First of three piracy information centres planned under the Djibouti Code of Conduct concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden has been opened in Mombasa, Kenya.

The other two centres, envisaged to operate under the same Code, are those established in Dar es Salam, the United Republic of Tanzania, and Sana’a, Yemen. The centres have been established to facilitate practical measures for the suppression of piracy and armed robbery against ships, by ensuring the coordinated, timely, and effective flow of information. It is intended that the ISCs should be capable of receiving and responding to alerts and requests for information or assistance at all times.

Continue reading »

MV Zirku Pirated

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Mar 282011
 

At approximately 0900Z on 28 March, the Crude Oil Tanker the MV ZIRKU was pirated approximately 250 nautical miles South East of Salalah in the eastern part of the Gulf of Aden

MV ZIRKU

The UAE flagged and Kuwaiti owned vessel was on its way to Singapore from Bashayer (Sudan) when it was attacked.  The vessel was attacked by 2 pirate skiffs firing RPGs and small arms. The MV ZIRKU has a crew of 29 (1 Croatian, 1 Iraqi, 1 Filipino, 1 Indian, 3 Jordanians, 3 Eqyptians, 2 Ukrainians and 17 Pakistanis). There is no further information about the crew at present.

The MV ZIRKU was registered with MSC(HOA), and was reporting to UKMTO.  EUNAVFOR are continuing to monitor the situation.

 International Bargaining Forum reaches new piracy area agreement.

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Mar 262011
 

Pirated vessels like the FV JIH CHUN TSAI 68, pictured here, are often used as motherships to launch attacks on victims

Following in-depth discussion amongst the parties of the International Bargaining Forum, a new agreement has been reached for vessels and seafarers trading in the pirated waters of the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and North Indian Ocean, which will be implemented from 1 April 2011, allowing ship operators time to make any necessary preparations to follow the new agreement.

The IBF says that it “… also wishes to take this opportunity to call upon international governments to enforce the right of safe, free and unhindered passage, so that world trade may continue without causing any threat to the lives of the seafarers sailing aboard merchant vessels in the course of their normal duties”. Continue reading »

Piracy Update – Including NATO Advisory

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Mar 202011
 

MV SINAR KUDUS

At approximately 0730Z on 16 March, the Bulk Cargo Carrier MV SINAR KUDUS was pirated approximately 320 nautical miles North East of the island of Socotra in the Somali Basin. Within 24 hours of being taken, she was used to launch an unsuccessful attack on the MV EMPEROR.

The MV SINAR KUDUS, which is Indonesian flagged and owned, was on its way to Suez (Egypt) from Singapore when it was attacked. Details of the attack are not known at this time but initial reports from the crew stated that 30 to 50 pirates had boarded and taken control of the vessel. The MV SINAR KUDUS has a crew of 20, all Indonesian.

Within 24 hours of the attack, the MV SINAR KUDUS was used to launch a further attack on the Liberian flagged Bulk Carrier MV EMPEROR. A skiff with 5 pirates on board was launched from the SINAR KUDUS and attacked the EMPEROR but was repelled by the armed force from the merchant vessel. The EMPEROR was subsequently reported to be safe. Continue reading »

Mission Man Cockburn To Shed Pounds For Pirates

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Mar 112011
 

Simon Cockburn: A man on a mission to lose

Simon Cockburn, the UK’s Permanent Representative to the IMO today squared up for a sponsored diet in aid of the Mission to Seafarers. He has led the UK delegation to the IMO for 12 years, and now plans to shed a whopping 53kgs over a year.
Taking the floor of the Plenary session, Simon told delegates he was to be joined in the diet by MtS Secretary General, the Revd Tom Heffer.

“Money that I raise will go towards supporting seafarers who’ve been victims of piracy,” Simon said. “Mission chaplains work all over the world providing support to seafarers. It is right that in this year of orchestrating the response to piracy we support an organization that will help seafarers get over this terrible crime.”

Mission To Seafarers Site

Danish Hostages: Rescue Attempt Fails, Residents Protest

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Mar 102011
 

These pirates were captured at sea, land-based operations may be more difficult

Attempts to rescue five Danish hostages held in the Beyla district of Puntland have failed, with the deaths of at least seven Puntland soldiers, according to reports from Somalia. Earlier in the week local residents were threatened by the pirates as they mounted a protest and demanded that the hostages be released.

Four adults and three children, all Danish, are held by pirates in the Beyla district after their yacht was seized on 24 February. The pirates have threatened to kill them if rescue attempts are made.

EMS River, Izumi released, Dover Pirated

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Mar 062011
 

MV Ems River

MV EMS RIVER, which was pirated on 27 December 2010, was released from pirate control on 1 March 2011.

The Antigua/Barbuda flagged and German owned vessel was on her way to San Nicolas, Greece from Jebel Ali in the UAE at the time of the attack.

According to the owner of the vessel, all crew members are well and unharmed.

MV IZUMI, which was pirated on 10 October 2010, was released from pirate control on 25 February. Continue reading »