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Pirates are becoming increasingly brutal

Use of armed security teams on vessels has cut the level of successful hijackings Pirates are becoming increasingly brutal as the widespread use of armed security teams on vessels has cut the level of successful hijackings, Norden says.The Danish owner, which deploys guards with guns when necessary, believes pirates are starting to put up more of a fight when shots are fired in their direction."Unfortunately, it can also be noted that the Somalian pirates are more active and that their attacks have become more brutal - now they do not flee when warning shots are fired at them, they shoot back," its latest newsletter explained."Pirates have become desperate in their fight for crews and vessels and thereby ransom money."Norden reveals one of its vessels has been attacked and two others have experienced attempted attacks.Flemming Dahl Jensen, who heads the company's anti-piracy effort, said: "This emphasises that our fight against piracy must be given high priority."But we do not wish to convert our vessels into sailing Fort Knoxs."Norden first voiced its intention to deploy armed guards in March this year.In April chairman Mogens Hugo also suggests the use of armed guards on board ship was a "sign of failure" which was ...

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Piracy – lull before the storm?

Only 12 pirate attacks in November There were only 12 pirate attacks in November, according to figures released by EU NAVFOR for its area of operation.While some sources have questioned such a low number of reported attacks, the figures themselves make for interesting reading, said Neptune Maritime Security in a note.Although the data does not list latitude and longitude positions for the attacks, they still demonstrate the considerable 'reach' Somali pirates have in surrounding waters, despite the presence of the international naval force, with vessels being attacked 420 nautical miles off Mogadishu.Of more interest, said Neptune Maritime Security, were the successful hijackings, with just two vessels taken by Somali pirates, both of which were fishing vessels.While the measures taken to avoid hijacking in five cases are listed as 'unknown', just one vessel cited best management practice (BMP) as the reason for its successful escape from pirates.Meanwhile, the other five merchant vessels all credited private armed security guards as the reason the attacks upon them failed.While this will not come as a surprise to anyone in the maritime security industry, it does reinforce the fact that so far, not a single vessel operating with an armed vessel protection team (VPT) has ...

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The tide is turning: Pirate hijacking less successful now

Pirate attacks are increasing but the number of successful hijackings is on the wane - the reasons Life is getting tougher for the pirates off the coast of Somalia. Last week, the Royal Navy foiled an attack by a group on a Spanish fishing boat in the Indian Ocean.After being alerted to the threat, the Lynx helicopter from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Fort Victoria ship gave chase to a skiff, manned by pirates, that sped from the scene.The gang was apprehended after a sniper on board the helicopter fired warning shots ahead of their boat.But ships, helicopters, sniffer dogs and rifles are not the only weapons being used to fight piracy in the Gulf of Aden. Suspected pirates are now being hauled before the courts.The seven suspects captured by the Navy were transferred to the Seychelles to stand trial. Their case will be the first heard there since Britain signed an agreement with the island state to transfer pirates.Through Nato's counter-piracy operation, Fort Victoria is used specifically to fight the problem and was involved in the apprehension of 11 suspected pirates in October when the Italian ship, Montecristo, was held with 23 hostages on board.Crucially, the crew locked themselves in ...

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ONI issues special advisory re Arabian Sea

Possible pirate mother ship activity noted yesterday Please be advised that the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) has issued the following advisory:"Possible pirate mother ship activity noted at 1151Z on 6 December 2011 near position 15-27N 058-43E, approximately 272NM southeast of Salalah, Oman in the Arabian Sea. This area will remain high risk for at least the next 24-48 hours. Possible pirate mother ship activity noted at 0705Z on 6 December 2011 near position 20-28N 064-47E, approximately 640NM northeast of Salalah, Oman in the Arabian Sea. This area will remain high risk for at least the next 24-48 hours."The Maritime Administrator would take this opportunity to again urge all vessels operating in the High Risk Area to actively implement recommended Best Management Practices for anti-piracy measures as follows:Prepare the crew (refer to Marshall Islands MG-2-11-12); Harden the ship before the ship enters the High Risk Area (HRA); When entering the HRA from the direction of either the Suez Canal, the Arabian Gulf at 26N, the south at 15S or from the east at 78E: o Register the ship with the MSCHOA (http://www.mschoa.org /+44 (0) 1923 958545); o Report to the UKMTO ([email protected] / +971 505 523 215); o Advise whether ...

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Piracy update for the Gulf of Guinea

High riskarea of being attacked by pirates and criminal elements The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has issued the following piracy update from the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) to all ships transiting off Nigeria, off Benin and Gulf of Guinea:Information available to ONI indicates tankers and supply boats, specifically those with US interests, operating in the Gulf of Guinea are at a heightened risk of being attacked by pirates and criminal elements operating in the region.This heightened and specific risk will remain, at minimum, from now until 25 December. Gulf of Guinea pirates and criminal elements possess intent, capability, and are actively planning on attacking tankers and/or supply boats during this timeframe. All vessels are advised to be extra vigilant and maintain anti piracy measures when transiting this area and adhere to the latest BMP recommendations.Source: IMB

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Somali pirate attacks sharply down in November

12 attempted pirate attacks in November 2011, compared to 35 last year The number of hijackings by Somali pirates was sharply down last month compared to the same period last year.The latest figures provided by the European Naval Force show just 12 attempted pirate attacks in November 2011, compared to 35 last year.BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner says this is partly the result of the growing number of armed guards on board ships.But at least 200 hostages are still being held in or just off Somalia.Our correspondent says Somali pirates appear to be finding it increasingly difficult to hijack vessels at sea.EU Navfor, the European Naval Force that patrols the western Indian Ocean, says that of last month's 12 recorded attacks, only one was partly successful.That compares to 35 attacks in November last year, of which seven were successful.Naval officers told our correspondent this was down to a combination of factors.More and more ships are now carrying armed guards, many vessels are better protected with razor wire and water cannon, and there has been an increased number of naval interceptions of pirate boats, known as 'skiffs'.Britain is to allow UK-flagged ships to carry armed guards next year.But as of today, ...

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Survivors of Pirate Attack Lose Their Jobs

12 Mozambican survivors of last December's Somali pirate attack The Mozambican fishing company Pescamar has sacked the 12 Mozambican survivors of last December's Somali pirate attack against one of the company's vessels, reports the Beira daily paper "Diario de Mocambique".The ship, the "Vega 5", was hijacked on 27e December 2010 off the coast of the southern Mozambican province of Inhambane, and taken to Somalia. Here it was turned into a pirate mother ship, and the crew members were forced to work for the pirates, as they raided shipping in the Arabian sea.In March, an anti-piracy unit of the Indian navy engaged the "Vega 5" in a gun battle.The "Vega 5" caught fire, and those aboard jumped into the sea. The Indian navy picked up 61 pirates and 13 of the original crew members (12 Mozambicans and one Indonesian). Nine other crew members (seven Mozambicans and two Indonesians) were missing, believed drowned. The two Spanish crew members were held hostage in Somalia, and eventually released in May against a large ransom.Pescamar cancelled the contracts of the survivors on Friday, on the grounds that the company now needed fewer workers. The "Vega 5" survivors regard their dismissal as an injustice. Their loyal ...

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Pirates target Seven Seas ship

Pirates have failed in an attack on a Seven Seas Maritime bulker off the coast of Oman A gang using a single skiff fired shots at the 50,000-dwt Atlantica (built 2001) close to Oman yesterday, TradeWinds is told.The pirates had second thoughts, however, after being on the receiving end of warning shots from an armed security team stationed on the ship, sources say.The supramax was less than 100 miles from the Masirah Islands when the attack occurred.Ship tracking software indicates the vessel was en route to Richards Bay when the drama arose.Beneficially owned by London-based Seven Seas, the bulker is managed by Alloceans Shipping of Greece.Source: Tradewinds

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Britain detains seven suspected pirates in Seychelles

They attacked on a vessel that supplies the Seychelles tuna fleet The British navy has detained seven suspected pirates in the Seychelles, using a team of police dogs to detect the presence of firearms or explosives on their ship, officials said."The seven suspected pirates are alleged to have been involved in an attempted act of piracy on a vessel that supplies the Seychelles tuna fleet," the Foreign Office said in a statement.They were detained by Royal Marines accompanied by a police dog team which found traces of explosives or firearms -- evidence which will help prosecutors in the Seychelles, who have agreed to bring a case against the seven."Providing sufficient evidence to convict pirates has been a real problem for the international community as pirates often throw their weapons overboard and claim to be fishermen," the Foreign Office said."However, the dog handling team is able to search the suspected pirate vessel for traces of explosives and firearms."Rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) are a weapon of choice for the pirates, but even if they are disposed of in the sea they leave explosive residue that the dogs can identify."Source: AFP

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