Weekly IMB Piracy Warnings Report

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Latest reported incidents

02.07.2001 at 0400 LT anchored five miles from breakwater at Lagos roads, Nigeria. Three pirates armed with long knives boarded a tanker from the port quarter. A/b on anti piracy watch challenged them. Pirates threatened him with a knife, snatched his walkie-talkie, wristwatch and safety shoes. Pirates escaped by climbing down a rope and then by a speedboat. Port control was informed.

02.07.2001 at 0100 LT in position 01:05N - 104:55E, Indonesia. While underway, 20 persons armed with guns and long knives in a speedboat attempted to board a container ship from the stern. Duty officer noticed the pirates and raised the alarm and zigzagged the course. Pirates aborted the attempted boarding.

01.07.2001 at 0125lt in position 01:03N - 104:57E, Indonesia. Six pirates with long knives boarded a bulk carrier. On noticing the pirates the ship raised alarm and mustered crew. Pirates escaped. No injuries to crew and no loss of ship's property.

30.06.2001 at 0230 LT at Pulau Mapor Island, Indonesia.Pirates boarded an oil tanker. On sighting the pirates, general alarm was sounded and crew mustered. Pirates escaped. Master alerted ships in the vicinity via vhf.

30.06.2001 at 0100 LT in position 0105N - 104.55E, Indonesia. About twenty pirates armed with heavy artillery and long knives in a fast boat came astern and attempted to board a container ship. The duty officer raised alarm, took evasive manoeuvres and directed searchlights. Pirates aborted the attempted boarding.

29.06.2001 at 0445 LT in position 13.42.5N - 103:24.6E, Red Sea. Persons in two very fast-unlit speedboats attempted to board a general cargo ship. Alert crew directed searchlights and activated fire hoses. The boats followed for about 30 mins and moved away towards another southbound ship.

28.06.2001 in position 29:38.7N - 48:45.2E, umm Qasr, Iraq.Whilst at anchor pirates broke into forecastle store and stole fire-fighting equipment. 27.06.2001 at 0530 LT at Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Whilst alongside container berth no. 9, three pirates disguised as dock labour, boarded a container ship and stole ship's stores. When challenged by crew, they jumped overboard and escaped in a boat. Port authority was informed. 27.06.2001 at 0500 LT at Belawan anchorage, Indonesia. Five pirates armed with a shotgun and knives boarded a bulk carrier at the forecastle and threatened a watchman. When crew were alerted the pirates escaped with ship's stores and crew valuables.

27.06.2001 at 0445 LT in position 01:11.6N - 103:24.6E Pulau Iyu Kecil, Malacca Straits. While underway, five masked pirates armed with long knives boarded a bulk carrier and robbed the master of USD 4,000 and personal belongings. They escaped in a boat and sped towards Brothers lighthouse, Indonesia. 25.06.2001 at 1800 LT in position 04:54.00N - 097:57.00E, Malacca straits. While at anchor carrying out engine repairs, pirates boarded a tanker, abducted the master and second officer and took them ashore. They demanded a substantial ransom for the return of the officers. Subsequent to negotiations, the second officer was released. The master is still being held captive. The vessel safely arrived Penang, Malaysia on 27.06.2001.

19.06.2001 in position off Iyu Kecil, Malacca straits. While underway, about 20 armed pirates boarded MT SELAYANG en route from Port Dickson to Labuan, Malaysia. Pirates hijacked the ship and tied up the crew. Nine of the pirates disembarked from the ship at Durian straits, Indonesia. Acting on intelligence reports provided by the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, the Indonesian navy detained the ship on the 27.06.2001 near Samarinda and towed her to Balikpapan port, Indonesia. The 14 crew are safe on board. The 10 pirates are held at the naval base for further investigations. Cargo of gas oil is intact onboard


Increasing number of piracy incidents have been reported in the Malacca Straits between the coordinates 01 to 02N - 101 to 103E. The most risky area is within 25 nm radius surrounding 02N - 102E, where the same armed gang of pirates seems to have repeatedly attacked ships.

Attacks have been reported at Chittagong, Mongla and Chennai while at anchor. Ships at ports in Bangladesh have been subjected to theft of zinc anodes welded to ship's sides and the stern.

Ships calling at Indonesian ports of Belawan, Dumai, Jakarta, Merak, Samarinda and Tanjong Priok have reported numerous pirate attacks whilst at berth and at anchor. Recently a number of ships have been hijacked in Indonesian waters.

Persons in small fast boats have been trying to board several ships off Bab Al Mandeb in the southern tip of Red Sea, around 13N - 43E. Masters have reported that small boats wait at the northern end of traffic lane where ships slow down to make a turn.

Somalian waters continue to be a risk prone area for hijackings. Ships should keep at least 50 miles and if possible 100 miles from the Somali coast. Use of radio communications including the VHF in these waters should be kept to a minimum.

Suspicious craft

02.07.2001 at 0335 UTC in position 13:25.7N - 043:02.4E, in vicinity of Port Al Mukha, Red Sea. Three speedboats with three persons in each boat came very close to a bulk carrier. Seeing the alert crew the boats turned away.

Advice to all ships

Extra caution is advised at all ports in Indonesia, Gelasa Str, Bangka Str, Berhala Str, Sunda Str, Malacca Straits, Singapore Str, Phillip Channel, Vung Tau, Chittagong Roads, Mongla Anchorage, Chennai anchorage, Cochin anchorage, Kandla, Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, the Somali coast, Conakry, and Nigerian ports and Rio Haina in the Dominican Republic.

Ships are advised to maintain anti-piracy watches and report all piratical attacks and suspicious movements of craft to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


-- Rich Marsh (marshr@airmail.net), July 04, 2001


Hard to believe, in this day and age.

-- Uncle Fred (dogboy45@bigfoot.com), July 04, 2001.

Headline: U.S. Helping Asia Combat Sea Piracy

Source: Associated Press via New York Times, 5 July 2001

URL: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/world/AP-Asia-US-Piracy.html

SINGAPORE (AP) -- A U.S. Coast Guard team is training Southeast Asian maritime forces methods to combat piracy as the problem continues to dramatically increase in the region.

Drawing on its experience battling drug smugglers and illegal immigrant traffickers, the Coast Guard is teaching skills ranging from boarding and searching suspected pirate ships to hand-to-hand combat.

``The United States sees it as an increasing problem,'' Coast Guard anti-piracy team leader Lt. Michael Smith said Thursday. ``We are trying to assume a larger role in combating it.''

A record 469 piracy incidents were reported worldwide in 2000, up 56 percent from 1999 and more than four times the number reported in 1991. More than two-thirds of the attacks were in Southeast Asia.

The incidents were also getting more violent. Seventy-two ship crew members were killed in pirate attacks in 2000, compared to three a year earlier.

Some pirates in Southeast Asia rob ship crews of cash and jewelry and escape in speedboats. Others make off with entire ships and their cargos, brutalizing crews and setting them adrift in lifeboats. Some take crews hostage and demand ransoms.

The highest concentration of pirate attacks is in the Malacca Straits, a vital shipping lane off Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. More than 50,000 ships a year use the straits, which link the Indian and Pacific oceans.

Fighting piracy is nothing new to the U.S. Navy, which was formed in the 19th century to battle marauders who pillaged merchant ships off North Africa's notorious Barbary Coast, said Lt. Cmdr. Pamela Warnken, a U.S. Navy spokeswoman in Singapore.

``Here it is 200 years later and we're in the same situation in the Straits of Malacca,'' Warnken said.

Asia accounts for $500 billion worth of two-way trade with the United States, according to U.S. military statistics.

The U.S. anti-piracy team, based in Alameda, Calif., is currently working with Singapore's navy and Coast Guard. It recently held similar training sessions with navies and coast guards in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. More sessions are planned in Malaysia and Brunei.

-- Andre Weltman (aweltman@state.pa.us), July 05, 2001.

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