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Private navy to tackle piracy

Private package includes escort service, insurance cover and an audit of best management practice Shipowners are set to have a commercially viable alternative to armed guards in their fight piracy after the Convoy Escort Programme confirmed it would launch in the first quarter of 2012. The CEP package includes the escort service, insurance cover and an audit of the vessel's Best Management Practice 4 and compliance during the transit period. An initial business plan valued the package at $21,500, but CEP's chief executive Angus Campbell said the cost would now be higher due to increases in areas such as the price of fuel."The project has evolved considerably since the concept plan which was written some time ago. We are now proceeding on a fully commercial basis, so the tariff will have to be adjusted accordingly."In comparison, it is understood that employing four armed guards for ships transiting the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden typically can cost anything from $30,000 to $250,000 per voyage.The CEP is facilitated by Jardine Lloyd Thompson. Partner Sean Woolerson first came up with the concept three years ago, it has taken until now to secure a clear start date. This has led some to question ...

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UK waters left unprotected by Navy warships in October

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed The UK was not protected by any warships during October, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed.The Royal Navy's cutbacks and presence in Libya meant UK waters were without the minimum coverage of a frigate or destroyer as Fleet Ready Escort (FRE).The last FRE ship, which can react to incidents such as terrorism, was Devon-based HMS Portland on 3 October.The MoD said although no warship was on FRE duty one could have been allocated within 24 hours.The FRE is a warship which is ready to react to an emergency, such as a terrorist attack, in UK waters or abroad.Frigate cutsBut the MoD said cuts to its fleet in the Strategic Defence and Strategy Review (SDSR), which reduced the number of its frigates from 24 to 19, and its commitments to the Nato mission in Libya, had left it unable to fill the role for a month.A Royal Navy spokesman said: "Due to the successful deployment of Royal Navy units to the Libya campaign, it has been necessary to reprofile the commitments of some ships."Should a FRE activation be required, a Royal Navy ship would be allocated."HMS Portland left the role of FRE on ...

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Australian navy saves ship from reef

No oil was spilled during the event and no one was injured An Australian naval vessel has helped prevent what authorities say could have been a maritime disaster off Papua New Guinea.Australia's Defence Department says a container ship, MV Vega Fynen, lost engine power and was drifting towards a charted reef 100 nautical miles south-east of Port Moresby early on Monday.After receiving a call for help from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, the patrol boat HMAS Broome, based in Darwin, northern Australia, raced 146 miles to help the stricken ship.The Defence Department says the crew towed the 13,000 tonne vessel south and back into deeper waters.Lord Howe IslandThe patrol boat crew have been praised by authorities in Port Moresby for averting an environmental castastropheElsewhere off the Australian coast, a ship that ran aground in the harbour at Lord Howe Island has been cleared to return to service.The 485-tonne MV Island Trader grounded after unloading its cargo eight days ago on the east coast island but was refloated on the evening high tide on Monday.No oil was spilled during the event and no one was injured.Source: Radio Australia News

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Indian Navy and Coast Guard interrogate crewmembers of a Bangladeshi vessel

The team aims to find out if there is any possibility of terrorist links A joint investigation team of the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and state marine police is interrogating the 16 crewmembers of a Bangladeshi vessel that had sneaked into Balasore coast. The team aims to find out if there is any possibility of terrorist links.Two days after the Bangladeshi vessel's 16 crewmembers were taken into custody, the joint investigation has begun laying emphasis on "subversive and terror" angles. "The possibility of their links with terrorist organizations cannot be ruled out at the moment," said an official source. "The investigation has so far remained inconclusive. The arrested Bangladeshis are being subjected to intense questioning and interrogation as some clues have come out which indicate that they had trespassed into country's coastal zone with malicious intent.As the versions being given by the Bangladeshi crews vary from that of one another, investigators doubt the motive of their infiltration," said Shantanu Kumar Das, nodal officer, coastal security wing of the state police. No arms and ammunition were recovered from the seized foreign vessel. But there is a distinct possibility that they might have dumped the cache into the sea before the Coast ...

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Piracy: the human cost

NATO insists that the rules of engagement used by the Royal Navy are robust enough Despite the rising problem of international Piracy, NATO insists that the rules of engagement used by the Royal Navy are robust enough.The claim came as a programme was launched to help victims and their families deal with the trauma suffered at the hands of pirates

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Iranian Warships Foil Attempted Hijack of Oil Tanker

The Iranian oil tanker came under attack by 15 Somali pirate speedboats An attempt by the Somali pirates to hijack an Iranian oil tanker was thwarted after the Iranian Navy fleet deployed in the Gulf of Aden thwarted the attack with timely action.Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Seyed Mahmoud Moussavi said that the Iranian oil tanker came under attack by 15 Somali pirate speedboats near the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait.Moussavi stated that the Iranian naval forces' swift action and their heavy fire forced the pirates to flee the scene.In another development, Moussavi said, the Iranian fleet of warships thwarted an attack on a trade vessel in international waters Southeast of India.The commander said that the trade vessel had come under attack by three pirate boats.Iran's 16th fleet of warships, comprised of IRI Bandar Abbas Warship and the home-made Jamaran Destroyer, started its naval mission on October 9.The Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, when Somali raiders hijacked the Iranian-chartered cargo ship, MV Delight, off the coast of Yemen.According to UN Security Council resolutions, different countries can send their warships to the Gulf of Aden and coastal waters of Somalia against ...

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UK navy seizes pirate mothership

Freeing crew and apprehending 4 suspected pirates British marines detained four suspected pirates and freed 20 crew members who had been held hostage on a pirate "mothership" in the Indian Ocean, the government said Thursday.The Ministry of Defense said that the dhow had been hijacked by pirates to use as a base and was involved in attacks on merchant shipping.The ministry said pirates were holding a Pakistani crew of 20 on board when the British vessels HMS Somerset and RFA Fort Victoria - part of NATO's counter-piracy task force - closed in on the dhow last Friday some 200 miles (320 kilometers) off the coast of Somalia."This operation demanded high levels of seamanship to ensure that the dhow was kept under close observation as the boarding party moved in," said Capt. Shaun Jones.Backed up by a helicopter, a boarding team surrounded the dhow and scaled the side of the sailing vessel - a "quite tense" experience, according to the boarding team's commander."Through my weapon sight I could see dark figures moving in the shadows on the bridge," said Capt. Rod Yapp. "We quickly boarded and secured the dhow, then mustered the 24 occupants on her bow."While pirates were seen ditching ...

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Kenyan navy kills six suspected Somali pirates

The men died in a firefight Six suspected Somali pirates have been killed in a gun battle with the Kenyan navy.The men died in a firefight with a patrol boat at Kiunga in Lamu.Three naval officers were also injured in the incident close to the Somali border.The navy team was patrolling its waters on Monday when it spotted a docked speedboat less than 100 metres from the shoreline.The gunmen, who were ashore, fired at the soldiers as they tried to board their vessel and flee."But the officers swiftly fired back and managed to kill six while others escaped with serious injuries," sources within the Kenyan department of defence told the Daily Nation newspaper.The navy patrol boat was hit by a rocket propelled grenade that did not explode, but the impact broke the captain's arm, while a corporal suffered a fractured spine.The Kenyan army was called in to follow a trail of blood into a nearby forest in Somalia, but the mission was later called off.Source: Intermanager

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Navies prevent pirate attacks

A German warship stopped and boarded a suspicious group of two small boats Naval patrols have prevented attacks on shipping by Somali pirates in the last week.On 28 September, a German warship stopped and boarded a suspicious group of two small boats, a whaler and skiff 70 nautical miles off Mogadishu, Somalia. The crew threw weapons and other items overboard. The skiff and whaler were destroyed to prevent their potential use for piracy, and the crew were released close to the Somali shore.On the following day, the same warship located and destroyed a suspicious whaler 100 nautical miles south west of Mogadishu. The whaler was loaded with piracy equipment but no crew were seen on board.The Indian navy also thwarted potential hijacks by Somali pirates of two cargo ships, Fairchem Bronco and Conqueror, in the Gulf of Aden in separate incidents on 20 and 24 September. A naval patrol vessel escorting the ships warned pirates in approaching high-speed skiffs to stay clear. The patrol vessel sent marine commandos to investigate the skiffs, where they found pirates and recovered arms and ammunition.In a further incident, pirates boarded the Turkish-owned Cihan in the Red Sea over the weekend of 24/25 September but ...

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Russian Navy rotates ships patrolling the pirate-infested waters of the Gulf of Aden

Joining an international anti-piracy mission The Russian large anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleyev of the Pacific Fleet is on its way to the Gulf of Aden, where it is due to join an international anti-piracy mission later this week, a Russian Navy spokesman said on Monday.He added that also taking part in the mission will be the Fotiy Krylov tanker and a salvage tugboat.The Admiral Panteleyev will replace another Russian anti-submarine ship, the Severomorsk, which is currently patrolling the pirate-infested waters of the Gulf of Aden.Source: Moscow Time

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