Pirates Burn Pacific Express

 fire, piracy, pirates, Somalia  Comments Off on Pirates Burn Pacific Express
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.

New Recommendations On AIS In Pirate-Threat Areas

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Apr 082011

NATO’s Shipping Centre has issued new recommendaions regarding the use of Automatic Identification Systems in areas where a threat of piracy may exist.

Until now NATO has recommended that AIS transmission within the Gulf of Aden be left on with restrictions, and outside the Gulf of Aden in other parts of the High Risk Area be turned off completely.

In order that Counter Piracy Naval Operations have the required data from AIS transmissions to track real time positions of merchant ships, thus enabling them to mitigate risk of piracy to merchant shipping, the advice has been revised. Continue reading »

NATO: Monsoons Not Stopping Pirates In GoA

 piracy  Comments Off on NATO: Monsoons Not Stopping Pirates In GoA
Jan 072011

Pirates may not be affected by a monsoon in the Gulf of Aden, warns NATO’s Shipping Centre in its current weekly briefing. It also gives information on a number of hijacked vessels now being used as motherships.

Gulf of Aden/Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC). The monsoon is not effecting small boat operation in the GoA and skiffs blending in the local traffic to conduct piracy can be expected at any time. On Sunday, 02 January, a suspicious skiff was reported operating in the central IRTC. The skiff was subsequently disrupted and is almost certainly pirate-related activity confirming the threat of piracy without or little warning.

Arabian Sea/Greater Somali Basin. The weather in the rest of the Arabian Sea, as well as in both the northern and southern Somali Basin, remains favourable for small boat operations and hence pirate operations in areas are not greatly affected by the monsoon. Although sea states are higher along the eastern coast of Somalia the monsoon has not greatly affected the deeper basin.

The number of pirated fishing vessels and dhows conducting piracy operations is assessed to be at least five mother ship pirate attack groups (or PAGs) underway in the Arabian Sea and greater Somalia Basin during the period and additionally one whaler based PAG in the south western Somali Basin.

This list includes MV JIN CHUN TSAI 68 in the Arabian Sea, and FV SHIUH FU 1 possibly east of Madagascar.

No pirate activity has been reported over the past week in the Mombasa and Dar es Salaam shipping lanes, as well as the approaches from the Mozambique Channel towards Dar es Salaam.

This overall high level of piracy activity especially in the Arabian Sea is expected to continue through next week.

All mariners transiting the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea are warned that pirates remain active in these areas. Vigilant watches, early detection of vessels manoeuvring to close, early reporting and the adoption of the Best Management Practices are the keys for remaining safe in the Indian Ocean within 15°S and 78°E.

Alerts/warnings and weekly assessments will be updated on www.shipping.nato.int daily.

It also provided the following information:

Vega 5 – 01°48N 045°58E is assessed as being used by pirates for piracy operations. 1626UTC 07JAN11

Hannibal II – alongside the Somali Coast 0708UTC 07JAN11

York – 04°19N 049°41E course 275° speed 6.5 kts. 1139UTC 06JAN11 is assessed as being used by pirates for piracy operations.

Jin Chun Tsai 68 – 12°46N 056°42E is assessed as being used by pirates for piracy operations. 1730UTC 05JAN11

Shiuh Fu No.1 –  13°05S 056°33E

1045UTC 30DEC10 possibly heading back to the anchorage off Somalia. No current update.

Pirates Get Over The Wire

 piracy, pirates  Comments Off on Pirates Get Over The Wire
Jun 202010

image Pirates circumvent defensive measures, says the current newsletter from the NATO Shipping Centre.

Recent observations of Somali pirate tactics indicate that they are employing a new technique to board merchant vessels that are using razor wire as a defensive measure to prevent unauthorized boardings. The pirates are throwing blankets and ladders over the wire to circumvent this security measure.

Simultaneously, pirates in skiffs shoot at the vessel to facilitate the boarding attempt. Mariners are advised to incorporate this information into their practices using all suitable tools described in “Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy”.

Use of new technology

A new version (version 3) of the Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy is now under development, expected to be published mid June 2010.

Whilst awaiting publication, we would like to mention the constant technological developments which may be available to the merchant navy, with a view to highlighting the potential for improving overall ship security and/or on-board self-protection measures. We must emphasise that we don’t recommend any specific company, nor do NATO endorse any of the mentioned tools, but we do draw your attention to a number of the now widespread possibilities, giving a few examples here. The examples are collected from open sources without any confirmation.

The technology ranges from detection sensors and situation awareness systems to non-lethal devices that attempt to keep the attackers at a distance, or at least prevent them from boarding. There are several 360° detection systems to observe even small skiffs with a range of approx 15-20 Nautical Miles.

Of non-lethal defence could be mentioned that powerful remote-controlled water/fire hose systems are constantly developed, there are audible warnings/suppression systems with 140 db (above threshold of pain), there are coherent laser systems, incoherent (intense) spot lights, and launched entanglements.

The Long Range Acoustic Device or LRAD is used by some non-UK Armed Forces for anti-ship boarding and some major cruise ships employ this technology for their ship defence plans.

Another example of “stand-off” technology can be found in the “Vehicle-Mounted Active Denial System” or V-MADS. This device, currently under development by the US Air Force Research Laboratory and the Department of Defense’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate, sends a narrow beam of 95 GHz millimetre waves towards an identified object out to 700 yards, which may offer a defence against most rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) and accurate small arms fire. The beam penetrates less than 1/64th of an inch of the subject’s skin and produces an intense burning sensation that stops when the subject moves out of the beam or the beam is blocked.

Two other close-in defences should be mentioned. The first is an application of nets and booms, developed by a UK-based anti-piracy maritime security company. This technology is designed to be deployed when a threat appears, whilst being easily recovered and re-stowed by hand while underway. The intent is to foul the prop of the pirate’s small boat engine, causing the small craft to capsize or swamp in the wake created by the larger ship’s forward motion.

Another new product on the market that may help in prevention measures is an anti-traction system. “The Mobility Denial System" (MDS) is a non-hazardous chemical spray system that spreads a highly slippery, viscous gel to inhibit the movement of individuals or vehicles on treated surfaces such as asphalt, concrete, grass, and wood. There are a number of remote controlled spray devices – incorporating CCTV aiming and control systems – that would permit accurate application of the substance from a safe location.

Read the Newsletter here

Shipping and piracy: A view from the top (Video)

 maritime safety, piracy, pirates, podcast, Podcasts, poison, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Shipping and piracy: A view from the top (Video)
Apr 262010

NATO’s latest Review asks how are the seas kept safe? How much does piracy cost ships and insurers? And are anti-terrorist operations at sea set to spread? In this edition, NATO Review sets out to see how what happens at sea affects lives on land. It asks military and business leaders about how important piracy really is and go on a live NATO operation to see up close what it does at sea.

Here Lord Levene, Chairman of Lloyd’s of London, outlines how he sees the major threats to shipping and the impact of piracy on the ships carrying the world’s trade.

[powerpress url=”http://www.nato.int/docu/review/2010/Maritime_Security/Vid1/files/1209.flv”]

Aug 172009

Got news?A tip-off? Email news@maritimeaccident.org

22 Chinese seamen on Panama freighter missing for 9 days in
The company reported the shipwreck to the Qingdao City Administration, which immediately responded to the accident.

ABC Local Catamaran loses mast in cargo ship collision
Catamaran loses mast in cargo ship collision. Posted August 18 2009 093600. Map Port Botany 2036. The crew of a stricken catamaran had to be helped into

Freighter runs aground near Del. Memorial Bridge
The News Journal
where the ship can drop anchor, he said. The ship will have its steering system examined to see if it was damaged in the grounding, Lindberg said.

Governor of Svalbard wants ban on heavy fuel oil
Barents Observer
In a short period of time Norway has experienced two serious ship accidents in its waters. In May the Russian freezer ship “Petrozavodsk” ran aground by the

Inquiry launched into Corrib vessel accident
DUBLIN: The Department of Transport and Shell EP Ireland have initiated separate investigations into the grounding of a Corrib gas project support vessel

Tongan ferry formally identified
The vessel sitting on the Tongan seabed has been formally identified as the ferry Princess Ashika, which sank on August 6 with at least 149 people aboard.


Pirated‘ cargo ship found near Cape Verde islands
Maritime officials feared the vessel had fallen victim to the first case of piracy in European waters in living memory. But there were also claims that it

Piracy drop in the Straits
Malaysia Star
MALACCA: Heightened maritime security along the Straits of Malacca has seen a drop in piracy over the last two years. Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency

Conference to tackle piracy threats
United Press International
“With maritime piracy costing the world an estimated $60-70 million in 2008 and a worrying rise in sea crimes across the Middle East and North Africa region

NATO launches new anti-piracy operation off Somalia
ability to combat piracy,” a statement said. The operation “will contribute to a lasting maritime security solution off the Horn of Africa,” NATO said.

Malaysia, Indonesia, The Phillipines To Enhance Maritime Cooperation
of cooperation in the maritime zone and the air space in the region with a more systematic and organised surveillance to curb smuggling and piracy.

Off The Radar

Syracuse University researcher to present ‘Shipwrecks as Fossils
EurekAlert (press release)
The database includes ship names; type and size of the vessels; dates of sinking; information about the cargoes, passengers, ship departure points and