Pirates Burn Pacific Express

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Sep 242011

Pirates tried fire to force seafarers from the citadel

Earlier 21 September , NATO’s counter piracy flag ship, Italian Ship (ITS) Andrea Doria, rescued the crew of M/V Pacific Express, 180 nautical miles off the coast of Kenya. M/V Pacific Express had reported being under pirate attack on September 20, 2011.

ITS Andrea Doria responded to the distress call and closed in on M/V Pacific Express during the night of September 20. After evaluating the situation, the NATO warship assessed that pirates were no longer on board. As heavy smoke was coming out of the M/V, ITS Andrea Doria decided to send a boarding team to evacuate the crew and rescued all 26 crewmembers (25 Filipinos and 1 Ukrainian) who had locked themselves inside the safety zone of the merchant ship.
According to the crew, the fire was the result of the pirates’ attempts to force them out of their confinement. They also reported hearing gun shots and possibly a RPG being fired during their time in the safety zone. They suffered no injuries and are now being transferred to Mombasa.

ITS Andrea Doria has been engaged in Operation “Ocean Shield” to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia under the command of Rear Admiral Gualtiero Mattesi since June 14, 2011.

Round Table Calls For UN Defence Force Against Piracy

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Sep 112011

Ban Ki-Moon told "It isn't working"

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, the International Chamber of Shipping, ICS, BIMCO, Intertanko and Intercargo demand a “bold new strategy” to curb rising levels of piracy which have resulted in the Indian Ocean resembling “the wild west”.

Says the letter: “It is now abundantly clear to shipping companies that the current situation, whereby control of the Indian Ocean has been ceded to pirates, requires a bold new strategy. To be candid, the current approach is not working.”

Regretting the increasing necessity for shipping companies to employ private armed guards to protect crew and ships, the letter continues: “It seems inevitable that lawlessness ashore in Somalia will continue to breed lawlessness at sea.”

The shipping industry organisations – which represent more than 90% of the world merchant fleet – say they fully support the UN’s long-term measures on shore aimed at helping the Somali people but are concerned that these “may take years, if not decades, to have a meaningful impact on piracy.”
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MV Polar Freed By Pirates After 300 Days

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Sep 012011

MV Polar and crew freed after 300 days hostage.

In the early hours of 26 August, M/V Polar was released from pirate control after 300 days in captivity and has recently safely reached the port of Salalah, Oman, says EUNAVFOR.

The Panama flagged and Liberian owned tanker was enroute to Singapore from Suez at the time of her capture, approximately 620 nautical miles East of Socotra Island.

EUNAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort ships carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Program (WFP) and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), deter and disrupt piracy and protect other vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. In addition, EUNAVFOR monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.

The Incurious Pirate

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Jul 272011
Photo: Enavfor/Luis Carlos Amaral Laranjeria

Click for the big pic. Photo: Enavfor/Luis Carlos Amaral Laranjeria

MAC is intrigued by the winning entry in the EUNAVFOR photograph competition. The bad folk in the bow have their hands suitably skyward, as does someone apparently seated in the stern bt nearby, one of the pirates seems entirely unmoved by the events going on.

Says ENAVFOR: “To record the work of Operation ATALANTA and to increase the library of related photographs, all the officers, sailors and marines involved in the protection of World Food Programme and other vulnerable ships in the Indian Ocean were invited to take part in a photographic competition in which the photographs had to be connected with the work of EU NAVFOR”.

See the other winning photographs here.

Pirates Disrupted as Suez and Susan Go Free

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Jun 202011

Lack of evidence meant catch-and-release

On 19th June, EU NAVFOR Flag Ship, Portuguese frigate Vasco Da Gama disrupted a skiff which was suspected of launching an attack on MV Ejnana in the Gulf of Aden earlier that day.

The Portuguese warship intercepted a distress call from the Ejnana reporting that it was being attacked by a skiff.  Vasco Da Gama was immediately tasked to proceed to the area in order to investigate the incident.  During her approach, radio contact was maintained and several recommendations were passed to the merchant vessel trying to repel the attack.  By following these directions the vessel fended off the pirates and reported being safe.

The helicopter from EU NAVFOR British warship HMS Richmond, which was also tasked to respond, spotted the skiff which contained four suspected pirates.  The individuals onboard realized that they had been located and began to throw the majority of their piracy paraphernalia overboard.  The helicopter passed the position of the skiff to  Vasco Da Gama as she was the closest warship in the area. A few minutes later,  Vasco Da Gama’s own helicopter intercepted the skiff and the boarding team was sent onboard. Continue reading »

Somali Pirates Release Two But Hold Crew

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May 022011

MV Renaur: On way to safe port. Photo: EUNAVFOR

EUNAVFOR reports the release of two pirated vessels, Asphalt Venture and Renuar. Seven of Asphalt Ventures crews are believed to remain held by pirates onshore.

The Panama flagged Asphalt Venture was pirated on 28 September 2010 about 100 nautical miles South-East of Dar Es Salaam in the Somali Basin, the vessel was on route to Durban when it was attacked. It was released on 15 April after 199 days.

It is understood that 7 members of the original crew of 15 were not released with the vessel and that they are still being held in ashore in Somalia.  The other eight crewmembers are taking the vessel to a safe port. Continue reading »

Thor Nexus Released

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Apr 132011


MV THOR NEXUS was released from pirate control on 12 April 2011.  The Thai flagged and owned vessel was on her way to Bangladesh from Jebel Ali in the UAE when she was attacked in the Northern Indian Ocean on the 25 December 2010.

The vessel and her Thai crew of 27 are believed to be making for a safe port.

According to the owner all the crew members are safe and in good health. Continue reading »

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 »

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.

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