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Portuguese warship NRP Vasco da Gama successfully intercepted a Dhow

Fire warning shots in the direction of the suspected pirate vessel During the morning of 13 May, the EU NAVFOR Portuguese warship NRP Vasco da Gama successfully intercepted a Dhow which is suspected of operating as a pirate mothership.The Dhow, whose original crew were being held on board by the suspected pirates as hostages, was attempting to deploy into the Indian Ocean and was considered to be a clear and present danger to merchant shipping in the area. For this reason, the Portuguese warship warned the Dhow verbally to turn around and make its way back to the pirate anchorage.Only when the verbal warnings were ignored did the NRP Vasco da Gama and her helicopter fire warning shots in the direction of the suspected pirate vessel. The Dhow quickly turned around and make its way back toward the Somali coast. The Portuguese warship monitored the suspected pirates until they reached their anchorage.With the onset of the South West Monsoon in the area, which brings with it worsening weather and rough seas , this may have been the last chance that this particular pirate group would have had to deploy into the Indian Ocean to attack merchant vessels.The NRP Vasco da ...

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Holding of seafarers in Indian Ocean condemned

State of lawlessness The worldwide shipping industry as well as the ITF and unions have roundly condemned the latest development in the Indian Ocean piracy crisis. The incident involves the ordeal of the Indian crew of a merchant ship, who are being held by pirates despite payment of a ransom.The 15 crewmembers of the tanker Asphalt Venture were held following the hijack by Somali pirates on 28 September. After a ransom was paid, the ship was released on 15 April. However, six officers and one rating were forced to accompany the pirates ashore, in spite of dialogue with the owners during which it was agreed that all hostages would be released.It has been suggested that pirates in Harardhere in Somalia decided not to honour the agreement in retaliation for the recent arrest of Somali pirates by the Indian navy.In a statement released on 18 April, shipping industry bodies, the ITF and its affiliates the National Union of Seafarers of India and the Maritime Union of India said: "This is a fundamental change to previous practice and moves the issue from being just between the ship owner and the pirates to being between the pirates and a government. It is a ...

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Dutch MPs agree to troops on merchant ships

Only the Socialist Party was against The Dutch parliament has agreed to deploy Dutch troops on board a number of Dutch merchant ships to protect them against piracy in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.The only party to vote against the measure was the Socialist Party, which said too many things about the mission were unclear.The first Dutch sailors will embark in the Indian city of Mumbai on Wednesday. Thirty sailors will join two tow boats sailing under the Dutch flag and a crane ship sailing under the Panamanian flag. The convoy will sail to the United Arab Emirates.Later this month 20 other sailors will sail with a Dutch ship sailing from China to the Netherlands - the troops will join the ship for 22 days at Singapore and disembark in the Republic of Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.The operation will cost 1 million euros altogether and the costs will be shared between the Ministry of Defence and the shipping companies. Most of the costs will be for the ministry as it covers the costs of transporting troops and military hardware. The cabinet has promised to take another look at how the costs are divided as MPs ...

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MV BLIDA pirated in the Indian Ocean

MV BLIDA pirated in the Indian Ocean In the afternoon of 1 January, the MV BLIDA was pirated approximately 150 nautical miles South East of the port of Salalah, Oman.The20,586tonneBulk CarrierisAlgerianflagged and owned. The vesselwas on her way toDaresSalaam, TanzaniafromSalalahinOmanat the time of the attack. No further details of the attack are known at this stage.MV Blidahas a crew of27(Algerian, Ukrainian and Philippino) and is carrying a cargo ofClinker.MV BLIDA was registered with MSC(HOA) but had not reported to UKMTO.There are now 28 vessels and 654 hostages being held by pirates off the coast of Somalia.Source: EU NAVFOR

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NATO Shipping Center launches a Piracy Alert Map

NATO Shipping Center launches a Piracy Alert Map NATO Shipping Center has launched a new initiative on the NSC webpage. The so-called "Alert Map" will make the work of Masters and Company Security Officers (CSO) easier when they have to choose routes through the pirate infested waters. The "Alert Map" can be foundon the Operation Ocean Shield subpage, and on there will be posted the latest piracy relatedalerts, in co-operation with MSCHOA.This geographical presentation of the alerts makes it easier for shipowners, operators and charterers to get an overview of the situation in the Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin and NW Indian Ocean, asit will contain the latest week to 10 days of piracy activity, making it easier to see the hotspots on the map.The map reflects all piracy events dating back to and including 2008, and will be updated on normal work days; To see the latest updated version click here.Source: NATO Shipping Center

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