Weekly IMB Piracy Report

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Weekly Piracy Report 14 20 August 2001 The following is a summary of the daily reports broadcast to all shipping by the IMB's Piracy Reporting Centre on the safetyNET service of Inmarsat-C from 14 20 August 2001.

For statistical purposes the IMB defines Piracy as: "An act of boarding or attempting to board any ship with the intent to commit theft or any other crime and with the intent or capability to use force in the furtherance of that act". This definition thus covers actual or attempted attacks whether the ship is berthed, at anchor or at sea. Petty thefts are excluded, unless the thieves are armed.

Latest reported incidents 20.08.2001 at 0510 LT off Lagos, Nigeria. While drifting about 20 nm from shore six pirates armed with long knives boarded a bulk carrier. Master raised the alarm and an attempt was made to scare the pirates off. Pirates stole two mooring ropes and escaped. No injuries to crew. Port control and ships in the vicinity were informed.

18.08.2001 at 0200 LT in position 01:40N - 104:30E, near horsburgh light house, Singapore straits. While underway, 12 pirates armed with long knives boarded a chemical tanker, held hostage the master and five crewmembers. They robbed crew's personal belongings, ship hand phone, camera and cash. Pirates fled in their speedboat. No one injured onboard.

17.08.2001 at 0810 UTC in position 04:35N - 095:05E, Indonesia. While underway, five pirates in a small boat fired upon a tanker and asked the master to stop the engine. The master increased speed. Pirates followed the ship for few minutes and then fled.

16.08.2001 at 0200 LT at outer anchorage Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Twenty pirates in two boats boarded a multi purpose ship even though anti-piracy measures were in place. Pirates left the ship within 20 minutes taking ship's stores. The incident was reported to port authority who acknowledged the report but no action was taken.

14.08.2001 near Santa Rosalita, Baja, Mexico. Pirates boarded a yacht and assaulted the skipper and robbed him of cash and valuables. The boat was adrift for two days before running aground at an island near Santa Rosalita, Baja. The skipper was seriously injured and is recovering in a hospital on shore. Further details are awaited.

Suspicious craft 15.08.2001 at 1900 LT in position 02:18.5N - 101:38E, Malacca straits. An unlit boat doing 12 knots approached a tanker underway. Master directed high power searchlights and the boat retreated.

13.08.2001 at 2337 LT in position 09:04S - 115:02E, Indonesia. Anti piracy watchman on a bulk carrier sighted an unlit boat at a distance of about 25 metres approaching poop railings. Alarm was raised and searchlights were directed at the boat. Extra crew were ordered on poop deck with charged fire hoses. As a result the boat retreated. A second boat 200 meters away was believed to be acting as standby.

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

Ships are advised to avoid anchoring along the Indonesian coast of the Malacca straits unless required for urgent operational reasons. The coast near Aceh is particularly risky. Pirates recently boarded a vessel carrying out engine repairs and kidnapped the master of a tanker who is being held ashore for ransom.

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

In view of the recent spate in hijackings, ship owners are advised to install a satellite tracking system on board. IMB recommends installation of Shiploc, which has proved to be invaluable in the location and recovery of hijacked vessels. Details can be found at www.shiploc.com.

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.

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.

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, 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.

Tel ++ 60 3 2078 5763 Fax ++ 60 3 2078 5769 Telex MA 31880 IMBPCI 24 Hours Anti Piracy HELPLINE Tel : ++ 60 3 2031 0014 E-mail ccskl@imbkl.po.my

-- Rich Marsh (marshr@airmail.net), August 22, 2001


Nigerian navy blows up pirate boats August 23, 2001 Posted: 11:17 AM EDT (1517 GMT)

WARRI, Nigeria (Reuters) -- The Nigerian navy began exploding 11 boats worth $3.6 million in a public display of punishment on Thursday after they were seized from pirates terrorising the waterways of the Niger Delta, officials said.

Warri naval base executive officer Yusuf Hinna said the demonstration was intended to send a message to the bandits who operate on the Forcados River in Nigeria's southern Delta State, taking oil workers hostage and stealing property and oil.

"They are destroying eight barges, two canoes and one motorized boat," Hinna told Reuters. "The total value is about 400 million naira ($3.6 million) and the operation is based on the orders of the president."

The first boats were due to be blown up at Bennett Island about two hours south from Warri, between 8 and 9 a.m., before the navy headed onto the high seas for the rest, Hinna said.

The Warri naval base began exploding boats seized from pirates in April last year. Thursday's demonstration is the third of its kind at the Warri base. The Port Harcourt naval base carried out a similar exercise a few months ago.

The navy said there has been a noticeable decrease in crime on the waterways since the demonstrations began, but could not immediately give figures.

Pirates often prowl the waterways in the Niger Delta taking expatriate oil workers hostage and holding them for ransom. Last week the navy arrested six suspected pirates including one man who claimed to be a pastor but was armed with two assault rifles.

Bunkering, where thieves smash open oil pipelines and use shovels to scoop crude oil into barges is also common.

http://www.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/africa/08/23/crime.nigeria.pirates.reut/ index.html

-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), August 23, 2001.

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