Make Sure That Citadel Is Reinforced

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Feb 032011

NATO forces board the New York Star

While the pirates raiding the Liberian-flagged tanker New York Star failed to penetrate the ship’s saferoom, or ‘citadel’ their use of rocket-propelled grenades, RPGs, highlighted the importance of ensuring that the saferoom is properly reinforced. Recently, the saferoom on another vessel was breached through the ceiling.

On 29 January, Dutch warship HNLMS De Ruyter, part of NATO’s counter-piracy operation Ocean Shield, freed the crew of New York Star after they had barricaded themselves into a safe room ), when the ship came under attack by pirates. Continue reading »

Pirates Go From Go Trader

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Oct 312010

MV Go Trader

On the morning of 30 October 2010, the Malta-flagged MV Go Trader was reported under attack from one skiff approximately 520 kilometres, south east from Salalah, Oman.

Pirates had managed to board the vessel; however, after a couple of hours they eventually abandoned it, after having been unable to get control over the crew who had locked themselves in the ship’s “citadel”.

The 24 crewmembers are reported safe.

EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Program (WFP) and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM. EU NAVFOR also protects vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, deters and disrupts piracy. In addition, EU NAVFOR monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.

Magellan Star Pirate Take-Down – Give The Master A Pat On The Back For A Text-Book Defence

 maritime safety, piracy, pirates  Comments Off on Magellan Star Pirate Take-Down – Give The Master A Pat On The Back For A Text-Book Defence
Sep 102010

Magellan Star - A fearsome fortress

US Marines who took the Magellan Star from the pirates who boarded it the previous day are being roundly and properly congratulated for their professionalism and restraint but without the text-book citadel defence mounted by the master and crew of the vessel itself the ship would have become just another Hobyo Hilton.

A citadel is a system of threat identification, deterrence and defence. The term is often mistakenly applied to the saferooms into which officers and crew lock themselves as a last resort to await rescue.

The pirates managed to overcome the outer layers of the ‘citadel’ and board the dead ship. Their problems started immediately. The system had been so successfully prepared that one of the pirates, irate, telephoned the ship owner. A man speaking broken English demanded fiercely: ‘Where is the crew here? Why is the engine not working?” (Hamburger Abentblat).

A well-written account by Captain Alex Martin, USMC, Force Recon Platoon Commander,”BLUE COLLAR 6″ 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, reveals that after securing the vessel it still took the marines three hours to break through to the citadel’s saferoom: Continue reading »