RN Jolly Jacks Tar Somali Pirates

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Oct 142010

HMS Montrose visits pirates

The Royal Naval warship HMS Montrose prevented a gang of suspected pirates from entering the Indian Ocean to attack merchant ships – the second counter-piracy success by the ship in two weeks.

The Plymouth-based warship, part of NATO’s counter-piracy mission off the Horn of Africa,  was alerted on Wednesday to a pirate gang of ten men acting suspiciously in a small boat off the coast of Somalia near to a known pirate camp.  Their boat, loaded with ladders and fuel drums, was towing two other smaller vessels that have been traditionally used for pirate attacks against ships    HMS Montrose, which left HM Naval Base Devonport this summer on this NATO mission, launched her Lynx helicopter and a boat of Royal Marines and sailors to investigate.  Once the suspected pirates spotted the helicopter and boarding team, four of the suspected pirates took one of the smaller boats and tried to flee to shore.  The six remaining men stopped in the water and when the Lynx helicopter hovered overhead they tried to discard their ladders overboard.

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Pirates Hold Izumi

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Oct 112010

Izumi, pirates in control

On the afternoon of 10 October, the owners of the Panama-flagged MV Izumi reported that they had received an automatically released distress signal indicating that the vessel was likely to be under pirate attack.

The Danish warship HDMS Esbern Snare of the NATO counter piracy force was dispatched to intercept and investigate.

In the early hours of 11 October the captain of the vessel made contact with the Danish warship, stating that pirates were in charge of the MV Izumi.

EU NAVFOR French warship FS Florreal is now monitoring the pirated vessel which is presently 170 nautical miles South of Mogadishu.

The MV Izumi, deadweight 20,170 tonnes, has a crew of 20, all Filipinos.

Pirates Abandon MV Lugella – Updated

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Sep 272010

imageMV Lugela, which was reported on 25 September as been pirated, 900 nautical miles east of Eyl, in the Somali Basin, had been abandoned by pirates.

BSANNA News reports: “The Panama-flagged Lugela with 12 Ukrainians onboard has been released from pirates on Monday September 27, Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ruslan Demchenko said.

The diplomat said that during a pirate attack the crew acted in accordance with a pre-developed plan and in full strength closed in the engine room with an adequate supply of drinking water and foodstuffs.

Concerted and coherent actions of the Ukrainian sailors did not allow the pirates to change the ship course and send it to the Somali coast. After spending almost two days on the uncontrolled ship, the pirates left it on the night of September 27.

The Ukrainian sailors feel good after the accident.

After checking the technical condition of the vessel the crew continued the movement, Demchenko emphasized”.

Evidently a citadel system defeated the pirates.

Late on 26 September, the company owning the ship stated that the pirates had abandoned the vessel and that it was now underway to a place of safety. The 12 Ukrainian crew are reported to be safe and EU NAVFOR is monitoring the situation.

MV Lugela pirated in the Somali Basin

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Sep 252010

image In the early hours of 25 September, the Panama flagged, 1984-built general cargo ship MV Lugela sent a distress alert to its Greek operator.

The vessel was in the Somali Basin, approximately 900 nautical miles East of Eyl, Somalia. A short while later, the vessel altered course to sail towards the Somali coast. There has been no contact with the ship throughout this incident.

After having transited through the Gulf of Aden, the MV Lugela was sailing in direction of Republic of Mauritius with a cargo of steel bars and wires. The MV Lugela deadweight 4,281 tons, has a crew of 12, all Ukrainian.

The vessel is owned by Kori Shipping and managed by TDM Shipping.

EUNAVFOR Intercepts, Disrupts Six

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Sep 182010

Fuelish pirates

On 17 September, while executing a patrol along the Somali coastline, the crew of EU NAVFOR ship FS De Grasse located and disrupted a Pirate Action Group comprising of six boats. She thus prevented them from reaching the shipping lanes on the high seas to conduct attacks on merchant vessels.

On 16 September, the helicopter from the EU NAVFOR ship FS De Grasse was conducting a routine patrol when it spotted suspicious boats on a beach, loaded with pirate paraphernalia including ladders and fuel tanks, indicating the imminent departure to sea of a Pirate Action Group.

The following morning, the same helicopter from FS De Grasse relocated this same group at sea.  This time, the Pirate Action Group comprised of several skiffs and a whaler; a boat of larger size and often used as a refuelling asset without which the skiffs cannot sail far enough to conduct attacks.

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Two Jan De Nul Crew Kidnapped In Second Hijack

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Sep 132010

Amerigo Vespucci

On Sunday evening, 12 September, the trailing suction hopper dredger Amerigo Vespucci of the Jan De Nul Group was attacked by an armed gang in the port of Douala , Cameroon. Despite actions of the captain, two crew members, a Filipino and a Croatian, were kidnapped by the attackers. It concerns . The origin of the armed men is unknown.

Says the Jan De Nul announcement: “The crisis team of Jan De Nul Group met around midnight and all departments, employers, authorities and families concerned, have been informed. The company does everything to assure the safety of the crew”.

On April 18 2009 another Jan De Nul vessel, Pompei, was hijacked off the Somali coast and held hostage, with its 10 man crew, for 71 days until released for a ransom reportedly 2.8m Euro.

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

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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 »

Tanker Panega Released

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Sep 092010

image MV Panega was hijacked on 11 May 2010, approximately 100 nautical miles east of Aden (Yemen) in the Gulf of Aden. Today, 9 September, the vessel was released from Garacad from under pirate control.

Panega is a Bulgarian flagged Chemical product tanker, with a dead weight of 5,848 tons and a Bulgarian crew of 15, all of whom are reported in good health.

Bow Saga Piracy – Catch and Release

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Aug 042010

Early morning Tuesday 3 August, the MV Bow Saga sent a distress call that she was under attack from pirates in the middle of the Gulf of Aden. A EU NAVFOR unit close by sent her helicopter to assist and stopped the attack.

The Norwegian Chemical tanker MV Bow Saga was proceeding through the transit corridor in the middle of the Gulf of Aden when it came under attack. A pirate skiff with 7 people on board shot at the bridge, damaging the windows. MV Bow Saga adopted Best Management Practice and was conducting counter measures with evasive manoeuvring and the deployment of water hoses to prevent attempts to climb up onto the ship.

EU NAVFOR heard her distress call and ordered the closest warship, the Spanish frigate SPS Victoria to react to the incident. SPS Victoria already had her helicopter in the air and was able to intervene only ten minutes after the call. The pirates stopped the attack and tried to flee. After warning shots, first from the helicopter and then from the warship SPS Victoria , the pirates eventually stopped. The skiff was searched by a boarding team from SPS Victoria and weapons were subsequently found.

The seven individuals apprehended have been returned to Somalia.

Says EUNAVFOR: “Due to the legal framework and timelines encompassing piracy and criminal activity at sea, the prosecution of the seven individuals in this specific case could not be initiated with confidence. Whilst this EU NAVFOR operation was successful in preventing the attack on the MV BOW SAGA, this case again highlights the importance of the continuing efforts to harmonise the prosecution system”.