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Piracy attacks in East and West Africa dominate world report

ICC- IMB Report Pirate attacks against vessels in East and West Africa accounted for the majority of world attacks in 2011, signalling a rising trend, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau's (IMB) global piracy report revealed today. Of the 439 attacks reported to the IMB in 2011, 275 attacks took place off Somalia on the east coast and in the Gulf of Guinea on the west coast of Africa.The report showed a slight drop in the total number of recorded incidents of piracy and armed robbery worldwide, comparing the 439 recorded incidents of piracy and armed robbery in 2011 to 445 in 2010. The falling numbers come after four consecutive years of increased piracy and armed robbery worldwide.The 802 crew members taken hostage in 2011 also marks a decrease from the four-year high of 1,181 in 2010. Overall in 2011, there were 45 vessels hijacked, 176 vessels boarded, 113 vessels fired upon and 105 reported attempted attacks. A total of eight crew members were killed throughout the year, the same number as 2010.Somali pirates remain greatest threatSomali pirates continue to account for the majority of attacks - approximately 54%. But while the overall number of Somali incidents ...

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Dutch marines ward off pirate attack

Dutch marines guarding a merchant ship have warded off an attack Dutch marines guarding a merchant ship have warded off an attack by pirates after it was accosted in the Arabian Sea south of Yemen, the Dutch defence ministry said Tuesday."Dutch marines warded off the attack when pirates approached the Flintstone", a ship that dumps rocks to protect oil and gas pipelines, at around 6:00 am (0500 GMT), it said in a statement.The Flintstone's crew sheltered in a safe room as a fishing vessel launched a fast moving skiff towards the merchant vessel."The marines tried in vain to stop the fast-moving skiff, occupied by six men armed with an assortment of weapons including a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), by firing tracers as a warning," the ministry said.After one of the men aimed the RPG at the ship, the marines fired on the skiff, which turned around and joined the larger fishing vessel."It's not excluded that there may have been casualties among the attackers," the ministry said.The Flintstone was underway from Singapore to Malta through the Suez Canal when the attack happened, it added.Dutch marines teams of the Vessel Protection Detachment (VPD) are in certain instances put on board merchant ships on ...

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Dutch marines ward off pirate attack

pirates approached the Flintstone - ship that dumps rocks to protect oil and gas pipelines Dutch marines guarding a merchant ship have warded off an attack by pirates after it was accosted in the Arabian Sea south of Yemen, the Dutch defence ministry said Tuesday."Dutch marines warded off the attack when pirates approached the Flintstone", a ship that dumps rocks to protect oil and gas pipelines, at around 6:00 am (0500 GMT), it said in a statement.The Flintstone's crew sheltered in a safe room as a fishing vessel launched a fast moving skiff towards the merchant vessel."The marines tried in vain to stop the fast-moving skiff, occupied by six men armed with an assortment of weapons including a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), by firing tracers as a warning," the ministry said.After one of the men aimed the RPG at the ship, the marines fired on the skiff, which turned around and joined the larger fishing vessel."It's not excluded that there may have been casualties among the attackers," the ministry said.The Flintstone was underway from Singapore to Malta through the Suez Canal when the attack happened, it added.Dutch marines teams of the Vessel Protection Detachment (VPD) are in certain instances put on ...

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Pirate attack on the EU NAVFOR Flagship update

All stable and in no medical danger onboard the SPS PATINO Following a detailed assessment of the dawn attack on the SPS PATINO on 12 January 2012, the political decision has been made to hand-over the evidence pack for consideration by the courts for prosecution in Spain.The suspected pirates have all been given medical treatment for injuries sustained during their attack and two of the suspected pirates will require additional medical treatment once they have been landed. They are all currently stable and in no medical danger onboard the SPS PATINO.The group of suspect pirates made their attack while the Flagship was in the vicinity of Mogadishu following the escort of a World Food Programme ship carrying food-aid into Somalia. They attempted to climb onboard having fired light-calibre weapons into the superstructure to try to make the ship stop however the detachment of Spanish Marines, embarked for Force Protection Duties, returned fire in self-defence, forcing the suspected pirates to break-off their attack.The ship's Seaking helicopter was subsequently launched to track the skiff and the occupants surrendered. A search was instituted for a seventh man who was alleged by the suspected pirates to have been lost overboard from the skiff during ...

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Pirate attacks around Horn of Africa sliced nearly in half

The number of successful pirate attacks dropped to 24 in 2011, from 45 in 2010 The number of successful pirate attacks in the Horn of Africa region declined nearly 50% last year, the first significant drop since the international community established counterpiracy naval forces in the area three years ago.The number of successful pirate attacks dropped to 24 last year, from 45 in 2010, according to NATO. Many other attacks were disrupted by naval vessels or merchant ships that were able to evade pirates, most of whom are based in Somalia."We're starting to see a payoff from the naval presence as well as increased security measures taken by shipping companies," said Daniel Sekulich, author of Terror on the Seas, a book on piracy.The international community had established anti-piracy naval forces several years ago to counter a sudden spike in attacks from bands of Somali pirates that threatened to disrupt shipping. Most of the hijacked ships were taken to Somalia, where bandits demanded millions of dollars in ransom.NATO and other forces in the region attribute recent progress against pirates to the increase in naval ships and the use of armed guards and other security measures taken by merchant vessels transiting the ...

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Spanish navy repels pirate attack in Indian ocean

Six pirates have been taken on board the Patino, of which five are injured, ministry says A Spanish navy ship fought off a gun attack by pirates on the Somali coast Thursday, then chased and captured six of the attackers while one was reported killed, authorities said.The support-and-combat vessel Patino, part of a European Union security mission, early Thursday "suffered an attack by a pirate skiff that led to the detention of six of the attackers," the Spanish defence ministry said.The pirates opened fire on the Spanish ship, prompting it to respond with "light fire," the ministry said in a statement. When the pirates continued shooting, the ship responded with "neutralisation fire in self-defence".The ship eventually sent out a helicopter to chase the pirates. The pirates threw their weapons overboard and surrendered when the helicopter caught up with their boat."Six pirates have been taken on board the Patino, of which five are injured," the ministry said. "Those detained said that another companion died in the incident and was thrown by them into the sea."The Patino operates under the EU's Operation Atalanta, a multinational mission to protect ships in the perilous shipping route off the coast of Somalia, where hundreds of ...

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Pirate attack on the EU NAVFOR Flagship

ESPS PATINO, was approached by one skiff with pirates At first light on 12 January 2012, having just completed the escort of a World Food Programme ship carrying food-aid into Somalia and while operating close to the Somali port of Mogadishu, the EU NAVFOR Flagship, the ESPS PATINO, was approached by one skiff with a group of suspected pirates onboard.The suspected pirates opened fire with light calibre weapons and tried to board the PATINO. The ship's force-protection team returned fire in self-defense and the ship's helicopter was launched.The skiff broke off the attack and the men surrendered to the helicopter after throwing their weapons, ladder and fuel barrels overboard.Five of the six men who were in the skiff had received injuries, two of which required medical treatment onboard the SPS PATINO.Investigations are ongoing to check whether the suspect pirates' report that a seventh man who had been in the skiff and who was lost overboard during the attack are correct.Source: EU NAVFOR

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Navy prevents attack by Somali pirate mothership

A pirate attack in the Indian Ocean has been foiled by the Royal Navy RFA Fort Victoria, which is on patrol near Somalia and is part of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, a civilian-manned fleet which provides support for the Navy, forced pirates to abandon an attempt to hijack cargo ships.The Somali pirates were planning to use a hijacked ship called the Liquid Velvet to launch further attacks on shipping in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.The Liquid Velvet, a Greek-owned chemical tanker, which had a crew of 23, was hijacked in November. On Tuesday, the pirates began moving the ship towards the Gulf of Aden and into international waters.Fort Victoria, which is operating as part of Nato's Operation Ocean Shield in the Indian Ocean, cut off the vessel's progress when it was 90 miles from the coastline and forced it to return to Somalia.Fort Victoria approached the Liquid Velvet under cover of darkness, before circling the vessel at speed. The ship's Lynx helicopter was also used. Fort Victoria then followed Liquid Velvet as she retreated towards Somalia.The pirates usually use fishing boats as "motherships" for launching attacks on shipping from small speedboats.The Liquid Velvet would have provided the pirates, ...

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Pirates hijack Iranian ship in Gulf of Aden

The Iranian ship is carrying 30,000 tonnes of petrochemical products Pirates in the Gulf of Aden have hijacked an Iranian ship carrying 30,000 tonnes of petrochemical products to a North African country, Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Tuesday.Somali sea gangs have seized vessels and crews across the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, extracting millions of dollars in ransoms.Mehr did not say where the information on the latest reported attack came from.Separately on Tuesday, the Pentagon said American forces had rescued six Iranian mariners who said their ship was taking in water off the coast off Iraq.The announcement came less than a week after U.S. naval forces rescued 13 Iranian fishermen who were taken hostage by pirates in the Arabian Sea for more than a month.The rescue operations have taken place at a moment of heightened tension between Washington and Tehran over Iran's nuclear programme, which the West suspects is aimed at building an atomic bomb. Tehran denies the charge, saying its nuclear activities are only for peaceful purposes.Tehran and Washington do not have formal diplomatic relations. The U.S. State Department last week said there had been no official communication with Iran about the first rescue, which ...

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Ship with 20 Indian crew members hijacked, freed

Crew members of the ship, MV Spar Rigel A Norwegian ship, with 20 Indian crew members, was hijacked by Somali pirates Tuesday morning off the coast of Nigeria but freed from their control soon after by security forces, a maritime authority said here.The crew members of the ship, MV Spar Rigel, locked themselves in the citadel - a safe house - on board and sent an SOS to the security forces patrolling the area, according to the directorate-general of shipping (DGS).The ship was now free of the pirates and the crew, which also included a Ukrainian, were safe, the DGS said.On Feb 8 last year, a ship, MT Savina Caylyn, with 17 Indian crewmen was hijacked. The ship has now been released and the crew members returned home via Fujairah after an 11-month ordeal.Besides these incidents, another 36 Indians are on board four hijacked ships. MV Iceberg-1 of Panama hijacked Mar 3, 2010 has six Indians abroad, MT Fairchem Bogey of Marshall Islands hijacked Aug 20, 2011 has 21 Indians among its crew, MV Al Bedo of Malaysia hijacked Nov 26, 2010 has two Indians and MT Enrico Ievoli of Italy hijacked Dec 27, 2011 has seven crew members from ...

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