• Name: MV Beluga Nomination
Date taken: 22 January 2011
Nationality: German owned, Antigua and Barbuda flagged
• Name: MV Beluga Nomination
Date taken: 22 January 2011
Nationality: German owned, Antigua and Barbuda flagged
Details: Cargo vessel hijacked 390 nautical miles north of the Seychelles. On 29 January a Seychelles patrol ship attempted to rescue the vessel and opened fire on the pirates. In the confusion two of the crew managed to escape in a lifeboat while one pirate was killed. A crewman was then shot dead by others in retaliation. The vessel was last reported heading to Somalia with the MT York.
Crew: 12 in total: 9 held, 2 escaped, 1 killed
• Name: Khaled Muhieddine K
Date taken: 20 January 2011
Nationality: Syrian, Togo flagged
Details: Cargo vessel seized approximately 330 nautical miles south-east of Salalah.
• Name: Hoang Son Sun
Date taken: 20 January 2011
Nationality: Vietnamese, Mongolian flagged
Details: Bulk carrier seized approximately 520 nautical miles south-east of Muscat, Oman.
• Name: Eagle
Date taken: 17 January 2011
Nationality: Greek owned and Cyprus flagged
Details: Cargo tonne vessel hijacked approximately 490 nautical miles south of Salalah, Oman.
• Name: Leopard
Date taken: 12 January 2011
Details: Cargo vessel, said to be carrying ammunition, hijacked off the coast of Oman and subsequently abandoned on 14 January. The six crewmembers were reportedly taken aboard the Taiwanese Shiuh Fu No. 1, which was seized on 25 December 2010.
Status: Ship abandoned, crew taken aboard Shiuh Fu No. 1
• Name: Blida
Date taken: 1 January 2011
Details: Cargo vessel carrying clinker seized approximately 150 nautical miles south-east of Salalah.
• Name: Vega 5
Date taken: 31 December 2010
Details: Hijacked on 25 December off the coast of Mozambique, now being used as a mothership.
• Name: EMS River
Date taken: 27 December 2010
Nationality: German owned, and Antigua and Barbuda flagged
Details: Cargo vessel seized as it headed through the Gulf of Aden.
• Name: Shiuh Fu No. 1
Date taken: 25 December 2010
Details: Hijacked on 25 December, now being used as a mothership.
• Name: Thor Nexus
Date taken: 25 December 2010
Details: Bulk carrier seized off the coast of Oman.
• Name: Orna
Date taken: 20 December 2010
Nationality: Panama flagged, UAE owned
Details: Bulk cargo vessel seized in the Indian Ocean.
• Name: Renuar
Date taken: 11 December 2010
Nationality: Liberian owned, Panama flagged
Details: Bulk cargo vessel seized in Indian Ocean whilst travelling from UAE to Mauritius.
• Name: Panama
Date taken: 10 December 2010
Nationality: Liberia flagged
Details: Container ship seized in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Tanzania.
• Name: Jahan Moni
Date taken: 5 December 2010
Details: Bulk carrier seized in Indian Ocean whilst travelling from Singapore to Greece.
• Name: MV Albedo
Date taken: 26 November 2010
Details: Cargo vessel seized around 250 nautical miles west of the Maldives.
• Name: Yuan Xiang
Date taken: 12 November 2010
Nationality: Chinese owned, Panama flagged
Details: Cargo ship seized off the coast of Oman.
• Name: MV Hannibal II
Date taken: 11 November 2010
Nationality: Tunisian, Panama flagged
Details: Chemical tanker seized in the Indian Ocean 850 nautical miles east of the Somali coastline on the approximate location of a line between Salalah in Oman and Male in the Maldives.
• Name: MV Aly Zoulfecar
Date taken: 3 November 2010
Details: Passenger vessel seized in the Indian Ocean with nine crew and 20 passengers of mixed nationalities (reported as Tanzanian, Comorian and Malagasy).
Crew: 9 (and 20 passengers)
• Name: SY Choizil
Date taken: 2 November 2010
Nationality: South African
Details: Three South African nationals seized from their yacht. One escaped and was saved by naval authorities. The vessel was abandoned and the other two crew members were taken ashore.
Status: Yacht abandoned, two crewmembers still held on land
Crew: 2 held, 1 escaped
To be continued next week
Incredible: Japanese Vessel Issues Fake Mayday
On Friday, February 4th, the Japanese harpoon vessel the Yushin Maru No. 3 issued a Mayday distress signal from the Ross Sea (71 degrees 58 minutes south and 176 degrees 48 minutes east).
At the time the distress signal was issued, the Sea Shepherd ship the Bob Barker was eight miles away from the whaling ship. The Sea Shepherd vessel Gojira and two inflatable boats from the Bob Barker were alongside the Yushin Maru No. 3.
Captain Locky MacLean on the Gojira and Captain Alex Cornelissen on the Bob Barker immediately radioed the Yushin Maru No. 3 to inquire as to the nature of their distress. This call was made in both English and Japanese. The calls were documented on film by Animal Planet’s crew onboard Sea Shepherd’s ships, and monitored by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
The Institute for Cetacean Research (ICR) issued a statement claiming the distress call was made because the Yushin Maru No. 3 was “under attack” by Sea Shepherd. During the skirmish, the Yushin Maru No. 3 suddenly stopped dead in the water. Since that time, some 48 plus hours later, it has not moved.
The Bob Barker successfully broke away from being tailed by the Yushin Maru No. 3 and is presently hunting for the Nisshin Maru.
In accordance with maritime law and protocol, Captain MacLean of the Gojira stayed with the Yushin Maru No. 3 for more than 48 hours to offer their assistance, if necessary. However during this period of time, the Japanese whalers refused to acknowledge any calls inquiring as to the nature of their “distress.”
Finally, Captain MacLean was contacted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and notified that the Yushin Maru No. 3 was not in distress and did not require assistance. With that confirmation, Captain MacLean elected to leave the area to continue the search for the whaling vessels.
The Yushin Maru No. 3 is no longer tailing the Bob Barker, and is also not participating in whaling operations. It may be suffering mechanical problems.
The Steve Irwin arrived in Wellington, New Zealand on the evening of February 5th to refuel and take on supplies for all three Sea Shepherd ships in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
SHIPTALK: A GLOSSARY OF SHIPPING AND MARITIME TERMS
AGENCY FEE – A fee charged to the ship by the ship's agent, representing payment for services while the ship was in port. Sometimes, it is referred to as the attendance fee.
ANCHOR HANDLING TUG – Tug that moves anchors and tow drilling vessels, lighters and similar.
EXPORT PACKERS: Firms that securely pack export products into a container to crate to protect the cargo from damage during an ocean voyage.
FEEDER SERVICE: Ocean transport system involving use of centralized ports to assemble and disseminate cargo to and from ports within a geographic area. Commodities are transported between major ports, then transferred to feeder vessels for further transport to a number of additional ports.
FENDER PILES: The wooden or plastic pilings on the outer edge of the wharf function like the fenders on a car. They are there to absorb the shock of a ship as it docks at the wharf and to protect the structural pilings that actually support the wharf. Fender piles are also called sacrifice piles since they are designed to be discarded after they are broken.
FLEETING: The area at which barges, towboats and tugs are berthed until needed. The operation of building or dismantling barge tows.
PILOT: A licensed navigational guide with thorough knowledge of a particular section of a waterway whose occupation is to steep ships along a coast or into and out of a harbor. Local pilots board the ship to advise the captain and navigator of local navigation conditions (difficult currents; hidden wrecks, etc.).
TRANSIT SHED: The shed on a wharf is designed to protect cargoes from weather damage and is used only for short-term storage. Warehouses operated by private firms house goods for longer periods.
TRANSSHIPMENT: The unloading of cargo at a port or point where it is then reloaded, sometimes into another mode of transportation, for transfer to a final destination.
DOCKAGE: A charge by a port authority for the length of water frontage used by a vessel tied up at a wharf.
DRAFT: The depth of a loaded vessel in the water taken from the level of the waterline to the lowest point of the hull of the vessel; depth of water, or distance between the bottom of the ship and waterline.
WEEKLY PIRACY REPORT
0045 LT: Posn: 05:31.9N – 003:38Ee, around 50nm off Lagos, Nigeria.
Seven to eight armed robbers in a fishing boat approached a drifting chemical tanker from astern. The duty officer noticed the suspicious movement of the boat and informed master. Master raised alarm, activated SSAS alert, increase speed and took evasive manoeuvres. Robbers open fire while attempted to board the tanker using heaving line attached to a hook. The pirates chased the tanker for around one hour before aborting the attack. Local authorities informed. No action taken.
0918 UTC: Posn: 13:06N – 064:09E, around 560nm east of Socotra island, Yemen (Off Somalia).
Armed pirates in a skiff chased and fired upon a vehicle carrier underway with intent to hijack. Ship increased speed and took evasive manoeuvres and managed to evade the hijack. The skiff was noticed moving towards a mother vessel.
0450 UTC: Posn: 12:07N – 065:35E, around 490nm NW of Minicoy Island, India (Off Somalia).
Five pirates in skiff armed with automatic weapons chased and fired upon a tanker underway. The pirates managed to board and hijack the tanker.
0926 UTC: Posn: 21:27N – 063:18E, around 205nm WNW of Ras Al Had, Oman, (Off Somalia).
Armed pirates chased and attacked a tanker underway. The pirates managed to board and hijack the tanker and its 25 crew. Further details awaited.
0315 LT: Posn: 01:20.8N – 104:20.5E, 1nm south of Tanjung Penyusop, Malaysia.
Five robbers armed with guns and knives boarded a tanker at anchor. The C/E and the duty AB were held by the robbers with guns and knives. The robbers stole personal belongings and escaped in the waiting boat.
BRIEFS ON TOTAL PIRACY ATTACKS IN JANUARY, 2011
Total Number of Attacks in January: 43 Ships Released in January: 6
Total Number of Attacks this year: 43 New Crew Taken in January: 118
New Ships Taken in January: 6 Ships Held at end of January: 33
Crew Released in January: 114 Crew Held at end of January: 719
IMO Launches New Drive Against Piracy
The Secretary-General of the United Nations says the escalating piracy off the coast of Somalia is “completely unacceptable” and requires an urgent and coordinated response. Ban Ki-Moon was speaking at the launch of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) six-point plan to curb the growth of piracy. The UN Secretary-General said this was a timely and important initiative.
IMO’s action plan for 2011 has six prime objectives:
1] increase pressure at the political level to secure the release of all hostages being held by pirates;
2] review and improve the IMO guidelines to Administrations and seafarers and promote compliance with industry best management practice and the recommended preventive, evasive and defensive measures ships should follow;
3] promote greater levels of support from, and coordination with, navies;
4] promote anti-piracy coordination and co-operation procedures between and among States, regions, organizations and industry;
5] assist states to build capacity in piracy-infested regions of the world, and elsewhere, to deter, interdict and bring to justice those who commit acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships; and
6] provide care for those attacked or hijacked by pirates and for their families.
The IMO said that among other things, during 2011 it will focus on promoting further co-operation between and among states, regions and organisations in reducing the risk of attacks on ships through a variety of mechanisms including information-sharing; coordination of military and civil efforts; and development and implementation of regional initiatives, such as the IMO-led Djibouti Code of Conduct.
IMO’s action plan will build on efforts to tackle the problem that have been underway for some time. Through the Djibouti Code of Conduct, for example, information-sharing centres are being established in Yemen, Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania, as well as a regional training centre in Djibouti. In partnership with the UNODC, IMO is helping to develop the legal framework necessary to prosecute pirates.
Mr Ban took the opportunity to emphasize where the real source of the piracy problem lies. “Although piracy manifests itself at sea,” he said “the roots of the problem are to be found ashore. This is a complex issue. But in essence, piracy is a criminal offence that is driven by economic hardship, and that flourishes in the absence of effective law enforcement.”
“The only truly successful way to address the problem in the long term,” said Mr Ban, “is through a strategy that focuses on deterrence, security, the rule of law and development. Our common goal must be a sustainable solution.”
….As Industry Bigwigs Say Enough Is Enough
BIMCO, the International Chamber of Shipping, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO and the International Transport Workers’ Federation have expressed their outrage that Somali pirates have executed, apparently in cold blood, a seafarer on the merchant ship ‘Beluga Nomination’ which had been attacked and hijacked by armed pirates on January 22 in the Indian Ocean, 390 nautical miles north of the Seychelles.
Three seafarers were reportedly taken aside for “punishment” after an attempt by the Seychelles coastguard to free the hostage crew resulted in the death of a pirate.
“We express our deepest sympathy to the seafarers involved and to their anxious families,” said a BIMCO statement.
“The international shipping industry is truly disturbed at reports that pirates have been torturing seafarers physically and mentally, often in the most barbaric ways, including hanging them over the ship’s side by ropes around their ankles with their heads under water and even subjecting them to the horrendous practice of keelhauling.
“We wholeheartedly condemn these violent acts and once again strongly urge governments to empower their naval forces to take fast and robust action against pirates, and the vessels under their control, before passing ships are boarded and hijacked.”
This latest action appears to represent a fundamental shift in the behaviour of Somali pirates.
“The cold-blooded murder of an innocent seafarer means that ship owners and their crews will be re-evaluating their current determination to ensure that this vital trade route remains open – over 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil passes through the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea,” continued the statement.
“The shipping industry will be looking at all possible options, including alternative routes, which could have a dramatic effect on transport costs and delivery times – piracy is already estimated to cost the global economy between US$7-12 billion per year.”
Pirate attack off Bakassi coast
GAC reported last week of an attack on an installation off the Bakassi coast (Cameroon) in which 11 persons were kidnapped. Two local gendarmes were shot in a separate attack in the same region.
The government suspects the local rebel group the Africa Marine Commando (AMC) to be behind the attacks. The group is known to carry out kidnappings to demand the release of their fighters held by the authorities. AMC is a splinter faction of the Bakassi Freedom Fighters group which is seeking compensation on behalf of Nigerians forced to leave the Bakassi Peninsula after the land was handed over to Cameroon in 2008.
Piracy incidents are spreading outwards from the Niger Delta, with the Bakassi peninsula being an area of particular concern.
Pirates Capture Another VLCC Tanker Loaded With About US$200M Worth Of Crude Oil
Somali pirates struck again last week and captured yet another Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), the IRENE SL (319,247-dwt, built 2004) which came under attack and surrendered to the pirates about 350 n.miles south east of Muscat in the North Arabian Sea.
The Greek flagged tanker was en route to Suez from Fujairah and has a crew of 25 on board – seven Greek, one Georgian and 17 Filipinos. Communication with the ship was lost and there is no information concerning the condition of the crew but a spokesman for the company managing and operating the ship, Athens-based Enesel said the attackers had come in skiffs and were armed. The ship was not registered with MSC(HOA) but was reporting to UKMTO.
Irene SL is carrying a cargo of two million barrels of oil valued at about US$200 million. The last time a VLCC was ransomed it earned the pirates $9.5 million, according to most sources.
The Irene SL was the second oil tanker to be attacked in that region in two days. On Tuesday, Somali pirates firing small arms and rocket-propelled grenades hijacked an Italian-flagged oil tanker in the Indian Ocean that had been heading from Sudan to Malaysia.
Meanwhile, South Korea's foreign ministry said pirates released a South Korean fishing vessel that was captured nearly four months ago while fishing for crabs. The ministry said 39 Kenyans, two South Koreans and two Chinese sailors were aboard the Keummi 305. The ship was last reported sailing away from Somalia toward international waters.
A vessel from the EU Naval Force was sailing toward the ship to secure the safety of sailors at the request of a South Korean navy vessel, the ministry said. The 241-ton Kenya-registered trawler was attacked Oct. 9 in the waters off Kenya's Lamu Island.
No information about a ransom was reported, but pirates only release ships after being paid.
British Royal Navy Lt. Cmdr. Susie Thomson, a spokeswoman for the multinational Task Force 152 based in Bahrain, said that pirates have been waging attacks increasingly deeper into the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean.
Pirates have launched attacks more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) east of Somalia.