Tag: maritime piracy

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Germany to vote on new anti-piracy mission in Somalia

Hopes for political change The EU's anti-piracy mission Atalanta off the Horn of Africa has recorded modest success. Now, the German parliament is set to vote on a controversial enlarged mandate that would see troops also going ashore.Named after the virgin hunter from Greek mythology, the EU's Atalanta mission is meant to crack down on pirates off the Horn of Africa. The mandate to do so was first approved in 2008 and has two major goals: getting aid into the politically unstable and drought-stricken country and protecting international merchant shipping from pirate attacks.Around 230 such attacks were counted last year. The head of the mission, British Rear Admiral Duncan Potts, says the project has been successful: In the second half of 2011 there have been only three successful pirate attacks. In the first half of the year it was still 28. The mission now is to be beefed up. A land mission?"This demand is to a large extent coming from our British partners," said the defense spokesman for Germany's opposition Social Democrats, Rainer Arnold. The commanding officer from Britain was of the opinion that stepping up the Atalanta efforts would have a psychological effect on the pirates as it would ...

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Does a military solution for Somali piracy work?

There's no evidence that more naval patrol keep pirates ashore Somali pirate attacks have dropped, from 45 in 2010 to 24 in 2011, but there's no evidence that more naval patrols and aggressive private security firms are actually keeping pirates ashore.To some, the solution toSomali piracy is blindingly obvious. Patrol the seas. Capture the pirates. Send them to the briny deep. If it worked on the Barbary Coast, it should work in Somalia.But with Somali pirates going further out to sea, such a solution is more difficult than it sounds. Patrolling the narrow waters of theGulf of Aden - as theEuropean Naval Force and some other countries such asChina,India,Japan,Russia, andTaiwan are doing - is relatively simple. Patrolling the much broaderIndian Ocean, where Somali pirates have moved, is more difficult.And for those pirate crews who do get captured, there's one more consideration. Where do you take them for trial? Very few nations - none of them, interestingly, in the countries providing naval patrols off the Somali coast - have taken Somali pirates to put them on trial. Most pirates who do get captured are simply disarmed, dragged in their skiffs closer to Somali shores, and released.As a Guardian headline this week ...

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Pirates seize Greek-owned tanker off Oman

Greek-owned oil tanker has been hijacked Pirates have hijacked a Greek-owned oil tanker carrying 135,000 metric tonnes of crude oil while in the Arabian Sea, the first successful attack on an oil tanker off the Horn of Africa in more than a year.The vessel's manager, Dynacom Tankers Management, said it had lost contact with the crew of the MT Smyrni, a Suezmax-class tanker, following the attack off Oman at 1115 GMT (12.15 p.m. British time) on Thursday."The Liberian-flagged Tanker, the M/T SMYRNI, is carrying a cargo of 135,000 MT of crude oil," it said.Suezmax tankers typically can transport a crude oil cargo of up to 1 million barrels, compared with 2 to 3 million barrels for very large oil tankers.Dynacom gave no further details but Kenya-based piracy expert Andrew Mwangura said the vessel was headed for the Somali coastline. Industry websites said the vessel had sailed from Turkey, but there were mixed reports about its destination."Aboard are nine Indians and about eight Filipinos," Mwangura, who is maritime editor of Somalia Report, said."It is headed to Somalia," he added.OceanUSlive.Org, a social networking site for the maritime industry, said the attack was one of four to have taken place in the Arabian ...

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Maritime piracy: a growing threat to international trade

European Parliament adopted a resolution on 10 May to call for the release of hostages and vessels Centuries after Blackbeard and his ilk passed into legend, piracy has once again become a major problem with a global impact. Operating off the Somali coast, modern day pirates have become a threat to regional stability, world trade and all forms of maritime transport. As long as the political situation in Somalia remains unstable, it is unlikely that the situation will improve. The EP adopted a resolution on how to tackle the challenge during the Brussels plenary on 10 May.The scale of the problemIn 2011 pirates hijacked 28ships, kidnapped 470 seafarers and killed 15. Currentlyat leastseven ships are being held for ransom and about 191 seafarers as hostages in Somalia.What has already been doneTo fight the piracy problem, the EU decided the launch the European Naval Force Somalia - Operation ATALANTA in December 2008. The Council extended the operation - and the operational area - until the end of 2014.What the European Parliament resolution is asking forThe European Parliament adopted a resolution on 10 Mayto call for the release of hostages and hijacked vessels andto statethat:Pirates should be caught and prosecuted.Maritime and judicial ...

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Gulf of Guinea Defined High Risk Area

Kidnap and Ransom - West African Threat The Skuld P&I Club issues information bulletin regarding Gulf of Guinea which defined as a High Risk Area due to West African Threat as follows:We would like to draw your attention toa recent article from Tradewinds about piracy in West Africa (published 3 May 2012).Currently this is a different threatfrom that which exists in the Indian Ocean as the pirates do not have a "safe haven" to take the vessel to and from which to issue ransom demands.Therefore we have amended the wording to cover to include illegal detention. Because the losses are happening a long way offshore the definition of the insured area is wider than just calls to ports.Already we have seen instances of crew being removed from vessels and the concern is that these could be ransomed. This would be an insured event under the wording that we offer.With these events taking time to resolve the Charterers may wish to consider buying LOH for calls to this area.Due to the increased risk in this area please also find attached a set of guidelines recently issued by the maritime security consultants, BGNPlease do not hesitate to call your respective syndicate if ...

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Tanker Savvy attacked by pirates near Singapore

Pirates failed to hijack the tanker and escaped in their speed boats On 9 May 12 at or about 0208 hrs tanker Savvy was underway at approximately 30 nm northeast of Horsburgh Lighthouse (1 38.0 N, 104 50.0 E), when approximately eight to ten pirates approached and boarded the vessel from two high speed boats.Armed with guns and chopping knives, the pirates boarded the vessel using a portable ladder on the poop deck. Upon spotting the pirates onboard, the master raised the alarm, carried out evasive manoeuvres and sealed all access from inside leading to the accommodation blocks/ engine room.As the pirates failed to gain access to the accommodation block and the engine room, the pirates escaped in their speed boats at or about 0230 hrs. The incident was reported to the Singapore's Port Operations Control Centre (POCC), which is also the ReCAAP Focal Point (Singapore).Source: Vesseltracker

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Indonesia Takes A Stand Against Pirates

Attacks can be avoided if crews maintained a careful anti-piracy watch and raised the alarm quickly A new stance by Indonesia has made a major difference in what was once the world's top piracy blackspot.Noel Choong, of the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), said now most attacks in the busy shipping lanes between Indonesia and Malaysia could be stopped, as long as crews maintained a careful anti-piracy watch and raised the alarm quickly.A decade ago, Indonesia's lawless waters headed the world's list of piracy trouble spots, particularly the Malacca Straits between Sumatra and West Malaysia.Choong, head of the IMB's Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur, said alerting the Indonesian authorities then brought few results. But international pressure prompted Indonesia's navy and marine police to take a tougher stance.Located on a shipping route linking China, Japan, Korea and other Asian countries to Europe and the Middle East, the waterways around Singapore and Malaysia carry a massive proportion of the world's commercial shipping.Ships must pass through the Malacca Straits, Singapore Straits and the South China Sea, and into Indonesian waters. Often they carry vast sums of cash in the ship's safe - frequently the pirates' prime target.The nature of the attacks is quite ...

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Navy forced to drop year-round Somalia piracy patrols

The Royal Navy no longer has enough warships to dedicate one to fighting piracy off Somalia Cuts mean that the UK has had to scale back its commitments in the region, despite David Cameron making the fight against the multi-billion dollar piracy problem there a foreign policy priority.While the US, France, Italy, Denmark and other countries still send frigates, Britain has quietly withdrawn its ships, according to a newspaper.The UK can now only deploy two frigates for contingency operations east of the Suez canal, with neither able to be committed to piracy full time, it was reported.The Navy's fuel and supply ship, the Fort Victoria, has been supporting the counter-piracy fleet in the region since last year but it is unclear whether this will continue beyond the summer.Four frigates had been dedicated to Somalia, deployed on rotation to give year-round support. But four frigates were scrapped in Ministry of Defence cuts.Difficulties have been compounded by the need to commit ships and personnel to the Olympic security effort this summer.A senior Whitehall source told the Guardian: "Counter piracy is getting very difficult for the UK. We have two frigates that are supposed to look after contingencies in the Falklands, the Gulf ...

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Pirates hijack supply ship off Nigerian coast

Later release 17 crew members An international watchdog says pirates hijacked a supply ship off Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta and held it for several hours before releasing the vessel's crew.The International Maritime Bureau said the attack happened Tuesday off the delta. The bureau said in a short statement that the pirates boarded the tug boat and held 17 crew members hostage before releasing them.The nationalities of those held was not immediately known.The attack is just the latest to target Nigeria and West Africa's Gulf of Guinea, where piracy has escalated from low-level armed robberies to hijackings and cargo thefts. Some believe militants once involved in fighting in the Nigeria oil delta now take part in the piracySource: AP

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