Tag Archives: Gulf of Guinea

Global Piracy Report

Posted on in Piracy title_rule


At Sea

Just weeks after Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force, Rear Admiral Bob Tarrant, issued a warning about the ongoing threat from piracy, there have been two more piracy-related incidents that have occurred off the coat of Somalia.  The first incident occurred on 5 November, when EU Naval Force German frigate, FGS Niedersachsen prevented ten suspected pirates from getting far out to sea.  During a piracy patrol, the FGS Niedersachsen located two small vessels, a whaler towing a skiff, close to the Somali coast.  The warship’s crew members were able to observe that the whaler was carrying ten pirates along with over ten fuel barrels and two long ladders.  When the German frigate approached the whaler in order to carry out a further investigation, crew members observed the men dropping ladders into the sea before heading back towards the shoreline.  While the whaler made its approach towards the beach, approximately eighty people were seen on land, with some wading out in order to assist the pirates in bring the boats back onto the beach.  The German frigate continues to monitor the beach, which quickly became deserted after the incident.  The second incident occurred on 6 November when a merchant ship, located 460 miles south-east of Mogadishu, had to repel an attack from five armed pirates.  A Hong Kong-flagged chemical tanker, enroute from Saudi Arabia to Mozambique, was fired upon by five pirates in a fast-moving skiff.  The private armed security team on board the vessel was able to repel the attack.  Naval forces immediately closed the sea area in an attempt to locate the suspects.  In light of these two incidents, Rear Admiral Bob Tarrant has stated that “it is clear that Somali pirates still have the intent and capability to get out to sea to attack ships and take crews for ransom.  These attacks not only cause misery to ships‘ crews and their families, they also generate instability in world trade and humanitarian aid routes.  Naval counter piracy forces and the maritime shipping industry must remain vigilant so that these pirates do not succeed.”


  • None reported during this period.

Unsuccessful Attacks/Robberies

  • 9 November 2013 – A merchant vessel was attacked in position 07:20S – 048:37E, approximately 278 nautical miles north of Madagascar at 1400 UTC.  Merchant vessels are advised to proceed with caution when traversing the area.
  • 6 November 2013 – Hong Kong-flagged product tanker, Zhongji No. 1, reported being attacked at 0330 UTC in position 05:31S – 047:07E, approximately 400 nautical miles north of Madagascar.  One skiff had five pirates on board, with ladders signed.  Suspected pirates were also heavily armed.  The alarm on board the tanker was raised, crew members alerted, fire pumps started, speed increased, evasive maneuvers made, SSAS alert activated and authorities informed.  The pirates fired at the tanker and the armed security team on board returned fire.  The skiff later aborted the attack and moved away.  The vessel and crew members are reported safe.
  • 2 November 2013 (Late Report) – India-flagged oil tanker, Desh Mahima, reported being approached by three suspicious skiffs travelling at a high speed at 1614 UTC in position 14:34N – 042:10E, heading 330 deg 12 knots.  Six pirates on board each skiff were sighted along with ladders.  The Master of the vessel order increase of speed, activated the SSAS, mustered the crew members into the citadel, used evasive maneuvers and anti-piracy measures, including the firing of flares.  The resulted in the skiffs moving away from the vessel.
  • 27 October 2013 (Late Report) – Bulk carrier was approached by two skiffs at 1120 UTC in position 13:15N – 043:01E, Gulf of Aden.  Skiffs were colored white and blue, with five to six pirates on board each skiff.  The skiffs closed to 100m.  Ladders, described as 10m long with hooks on one end, were sighted on board the skiffs.  Armed security team on board the vessel displayed their weapons, resulting in the skiffs moving away.  Vessel and crew members have been reported safe.

Suspicious Activity

  • 8 November 2013 – Bahamas-flagged oil tanker reported two suspicious skiffs approached port side at fast speeds at 1115 UTC while in position 17:52.37N – 056:56.45E, approximately 30 nautical miles off the coast of Oman.  Armed security team on board the vessel stood to, showing their presence in front of the bridge as the vessel implemented security measures.  Skiffs continued to approach the tanker to around 200 meters.  A total of seven pirates were seen on board the skiffs, which closed to 100 meters.  However no weapons were observed onboard the skiffs.  Armed security team displayed their weapons, resulting in the skiffs moving towards the starboard side.  The skiffs later moved towards the stern and were monitored until out of range at 1145 UTC.


At Sea


  • None reported during this period.

Unsuccessful Attacks/Robberies

  • None reported during this period.


At Sea


  • 7 November 2013 – Ten pirates armed with guns and knives boarded and hijacked a Panama-flagged oil tanker, GPT 21, underway at 0330 LT in position 01:20.6N – 103:18.2E, around 7.3 nautical miles west of Pulau Kukup, Malaysia.  The pirates tied up all the crew members and held them hostage in one cabin.  They later ordered the Master to steer the ship to a pre-designated position.  Another unknown orange-hulled tanker came alongside and the pirates forced the C/O to use the cargo pumps, valves and mooring winches to transfer the oil into the unknown tanker.  At around 1600 LT, the pirates disembarked after transferring and stealing all the gas oil on board the GPT 21.  Prior to leaving, the pirates also stole the crew members personal belongings.

Unsuccessful Attacks/Robberies

  • 4 November 2013 – Duty crew on board an anchored chemical tanker spotted two boats nearby at 1230 LT in position 03:54N – 098:46E, Belawan Anchorage, Indonesia.  Robbers attempted to board the tanker via anchor chain but alerted crew thwarted the boarding.  A second boat, which was hidden near the propeller, could not be chased away by crew members who were using the fire hoses.  The propeller was turned on, resulting in the robbers moving away.  The robbers were spotted with some stolen hull anodes in their boat.  Port Control was informed of the incident.
  • 2 November 2013 (Late Report) – Fifteen armed robbers boarded an anchored Indian-flagged container ship, Jindal Tara, at 0330 LT in position 21:40N – 088:01E, Sagar Anchorage, India.  D/O noticed the robbers stealing the ship’s stores and raised the alarm.  Seeing the alerted crew, the robbers jumped overboard and escaped.
  • 23 October 2013 (Late Report) – While at anchor, robbers boarded a Denmark-flagged chemical tanker, Torm Fox, at 0025 LT in position 07:06S – 112:40 E, Gresik Inner anchorage, Surabaya, Indonesia.  The roving patrol shouted at the robbers upon seeing them.  The forward horn was sounded and the crew members were informed about the robbers.  The robbers immediately escaped in a small boat.  An inspection was conducted in order to check for stowaways and damages.
  • 22 October 2013 (Late Report) – While at anchor, robbers boarded a Thailand-flagged LPG tanker, Senna 3, at 1545 LT in position 22:49.80N – 070:06.30E, Kandla Port anchorage, India.  Robbers boarded the vessel from the starboard bow.  Upon discovering the robbers, the emergency alarm was raised and the crew members attempted to expel the robbers.  The robbers threatened the crew with a knife before escaping.  Cash and the ship’s spare parts were stolen.
  • 21 October 2013 (Late Report) – While at anchor, robbers boarded a Singapore-flagged tun, Svitzer Kallang, at 0300 LT in position 01:22.73N – 104:42.24E, approximately 11.7 nautical miles northeast of Tanjung Berakit, Pulau Bintan, Indonesia.  Robbers were discovered by the Master in the mess room.  The robbers threatened him with an iron lance, later escaping with a laptop, portable welding machine, fire axe, generator spare parts and filters.  Following the incident, the Master raised the general alarm and the crew members conducted security patrols.  SPOCC initiated a broadcast to alert mariners.  The Police Coast Guard and Singapore Navy were informed of the incident.  
  • 17 October 2013 (Late Report) – While underway, robbers from two small crafts boarded a Panama-flagged tug, Miclyn Opal, at 1320 UTC in position 01:13.79N – 104:04.62E, approximately 1.45 nautical miles North of Pulau Nongsa (Batam), Indonesia.  Robbers boarded astern of the barge that was being towed and stole the emergency towing wire.  The Singapore Navy was informed of the incident.
  • 12 October 2013 (Late Report) – While underway, robbers boarded a Saint Barthelemy (France)-flagged barge carrier, Westsea 95, at 0235 LT in position 01:14N – 103:59E, Eastbound lane of Singapore Strait (TSS) while being towed by a tugboat on route to Lampung, Indonesia.  All crew members were mustered to the accommodation deck.  Master instructed the crew to lock the watertight door and entrance of the tug boat from inside.  The roving patrol shouted at the robbers.  After being noticed by the crew in the tugboat, the robbers escaped onboard a small boat and took with them a stern railing, emergency tow line and a Norwegian buoy.





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Call for Anti-piracy Operations in West Africa

Posted on in Africa, Nigeria, West Africa title_rule

Heads of states in West Africa have called for the deployment of an international naval force that will aid in curbing the growing threat of piracy off the Gulf of Guinea.  There are currently more pirate attacks occurring off the coast of West Africa than in the waters off Somalia, which used to be a piracy hotspot.  Patrols by foreign warships, as part of the European Union’s and Nato’s anti-piracy operations, have reduced attacks by Somali pirates, with the last successful vessel hijacking occurring thirteen months ago.  Piracy off Somalia decreased by 78% in 2012 when compared with 2011.  With Somali piracy significantly on the decline, mainly due to increased patrolling of the waters coupled with the presence of security teams on board vessels transiting through the region and better practices by the ship’s captains and crew, leaders in West African states are increasingly looking into the possibilities of deploying international navies in order to manage the issue.

Speaking at a meeting of West and Central African leaders in Cameroon’s capital Yaounde, the Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara highlighted that the growing threat from piracy in the region resulted in a need for the issue to be tackled with “firmness.”  He further indicated that “I urge the international community to show the same firmness in the Gulf of Guinea as displayed in the Gulf of Aden, where the presence of international naval forces has helped to drastically reduce acts of piracy.”  Cameroon’s President Paul Biya also noted that it was vital to respond to the threat and to protect shipping routes and the economic interests of the region.

According to statistics released by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), for the first time, more pirate attacks were reported in the Gulf of Guinea than off the coast of Somalia, in which about 960 sailors were attacked in West Africa in 2012, compared with 851 that occurred in the waters off Somalia.  However while attack numbers have sharply decreased in Somalia, at least 78 hostages are still being held captive by Somali pirates.  Some of them have been held for long periods of time.  A number of security sources have indicated that waters off the coast of Nigeria, which is Africa’s largest oil producer, have the highest risk of pirate activity in the region.

Although pirates in West Africa typically only steal fuel cargo and the crew members’ possessions, attacks in the region have been known to be extremely violent.  IMB has reported that five of the 206 hostages kidnapped last year off vessels transiting through Western Africa have been killed.  In sharp contrast, pirates in Somalia typically seize a vessel and its crew members and hold them until a hefty ransom is paid.

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Piracy and Robbery at Sea – Incidents for April 2013

Posted on in Africa, Piracy title_rule

Summary:  There were a total of 43 reported incidents that occurred in April.  The Horn of Africa and IOR saw relatively low activity across the High Risk Area (HRA) throughout the month of April.  Most of the incidents that occurred were suspicious sightings of dhows towing skiffs however a single attack was confirmed.  Meanwhile in Western Africa, in the Gulf of Guinea, attacks have occurred mainly off the coast of Nigeria, mainly south of Brass, in the state of Bayelsa.  In Asia, incidents remained largely to be petty thefts in ports however a number of attacks were more violent and occurred on vessels underway.  A barge was also reported stolen in the region.  Lastly, robbery in South American ports remained at a steady count in April, however there are fears that a number of incidents were unreported.

Early in the morning of March 30, off the island of Masirah, Oman, the Liberian flagged cargo bulk carrier, the Atlantik Confidence, reported to have a fire in the engine room and requested assistance.  Upon receiving the message, Admiral Antonio Natale, Commander of the NATO Task Force engaged in the fight against piracy off the Horn of Africa, promptly ordered the nearest vessel under his command, the frigate USS Nicholas, to proceed at maximum and to provide assistance.  Sometime later, the Captain of the Altantik Confidence ordered his crew members, which comprised of 21 Turkish Seamen, to abandon the ship as he had assessed that the fire was now out of control.  Upon reaching the scene, it was seen that the merchant vessel war already partially sunk but still floating.  After verifying that the survivors appeared to be safely in life-boats and did not need immediate medical assistance, the NATO Ship coordinated the embarkation operations on board an oil tanker called Pluto transiting in the area and which was also manned entirely by a Turkish crew.  According to a NavWar that was issued by US MARAD, the damaged ship sank around 140 nautical miles off the Wusta coast on April 3.

In Western Africa, one hijack was reported this month in the region.  The offshore crew boat, Utai 8, with a crew of 3, went missing.  The boat was reported to have been involved in a 2-boat attack on the MT City of Xiamen where 5 crew were kidnapped.

In Asia, fifteen pirates armed with guns and long knives in three high speed boats boarded the tug Hub 21 which was underway in the South China Sea.  They took nine crew members hostage, assaulted some of the crew and tied them up.  They ransacked all the cabins and stole the ship’s property as well as the crew members’ cash and personal items before escaping.  Meanwhile the crew from a neighboring barge noticed an unknown tug boat pulling the cargo barge off Tanjung Ayajm, Malaysia.  Eng Tou 266 was stolen and remains to be missing.

South America saw three incidents, with robberies occurring in Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.

Horn of Africa

Serial Date Vessel Name Flag/Type Location/Type of Incident
1 1 April Unknown Suspicious Activity – IRTC, GoA/Dhow and four skiffs
2 2 April Alpha Kirawira Sierra Leone/General Cargo ship NE of Kismayo, Somalia/Attack:  Skiff fired, AST warning shots
3 2 April Unknown Suspicious Activity – Gulf of Aden/2 dhows and 3 – 4 skiffs
4 3 April Atlantik Confidence Bulk Carrier NavWarn – MV sank Apr 3 after fire & abandonment – possible empty lifeboat adrift
5 3 April Unnamed Panama/Bulk Carrier Suspicious Activity – NE of Masirah Island, Oman/Lifeboat and 5 skiffs observed MV, AST stood to
6 3 April Unnamed Liberia/Tanker Suspicious Activity – Lifeboat and 2 skiffs, skiffs approached MV; MV moved away
7 4 April Unnamed Cayman Islands/Tanker Suspicious Activity – IRTC, GoA/4 Dhows and 11 skiffs
8 8 April Unnamed Unknown Suspicious Activity – IRTC, GoA/Dhow and 4 skiffs, AST report
9 9 April Unnamed Panama/Tanker Suspicious Activity – IRTC/GoA/Mothership and 2 skiffs trailed MV for 20 mins; AST weapons displayed
10 10 April Unnamed Suspicious Activity – Gulf of Aden/Dhow and 2 skiffs
11 11 April Unnamed Suspicious Activity – Red Sea/3 skiffs
12 29 April Unnamed Suspicious Activity – IRTC, GoA/Dhow and 2 skiffs; Warship response; helicopter investigated

West Africa

Serial Date Vessel Name Flag/Type Location/Type of Incident
1 11 April RMS Baerl Antigua & Barbuda/General Cargo Ship Freetown Inner Roads, Sierra Leone/Robbery; AB held at knifepoint
2 13 April Gyre USA/Offshore Support Vessel Parrot Island, Calabar River, Nigeria/Attack; Warning shots fired
3 13 April Leon Dias Liberia/Chemical Tanker SE of Brass, Nigeria/Attack; board; robbery; release
4 16 April Cap Theodora Greece/Crude Tanker WNW Principe Island, Gulf of Guinea/Attack; evaded hijack
5 18 April Corinth Marshall Islands/General Cargo Ship Pointe Noire anchorage, The Congo/Attempted boarding
6 22 April Cap Theodora Greece/Crude Tanker SSE of Brass, Nigeria/Attack; numerous boarding attempts
7 23 April Hansa Marburg Liberia/Container Ship 105 nm off Nigeria/Attack, board and kidnap of 4 crew members
8 24 April Bosun Antigua & Barbuda/Container Ship SSW of Nigeria coast/Attack; fired upon; evaded
9 25 April Utai 8 Nigeria Crew/Change Boat S of Brass, Nigeria/Hijack with 3 crew members; possible Mothership
10 25 April City of Xiamen Antigua & Barbuda/Container Ship WSW of Brass, Nigeria/Attack 2 boats – Utai 8 – Citadel Breach, 5 kidnapped
11 26 April City of Guangzhou Antigua & Barbuda/Container Ship WSW of Brass, Nigeria/Attack, attempt board, 1 hour chase

Southeast Asia

Serial Date Vessel Name Flag/Type Location/Type of Incident
1 1 April Crane Marshall Islands/Bulk Carrier Chittagong anchorage A, Bangladesh/Boarding and failed robbery; 6 robbers, whilst discharging ops
NS 1 April Condor Marshall Islands/Bulk Carrier Suspicious Activity – Indian Ocean/Group of boats, crew to citadel, evasive action, AST stood to
NS 2 April Wehr Blankenese Marshall Islands/Container Ship Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam/Robbery, unnoticed
2 3 April Ivor Exact Gibraltar (UK)/Chemical Tanker Dumai anchorage, Indonesia/Approach, 4 robbers
3 3 April Sher-e-Punjab Liberia/Bulk Carrier Adang Bay anchorage, Indonesia/Robbery
4 4 April Garden River City Singapore/Crude Tanker Dumai Inner anchorage, Indonesia/Robbery
5 5 April New Century Marshall Islands/Oil Tanker Visakhapatnam anchorage, India/Attempted boarding, 7 robbers in 3 fishing boats
6 6 April Maersk Bering Singapore/Chemical Tanker Belawan anchorage, Indonesia/Robbery, unnoticed; Attempt to “sell back” to ship
7 9 April Westgate Liberia/Bulk Carrier Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam/Robbery, unnoticed
8 12 April Densa Jaguar Malta/Bulk Carrier Surabaya Port, Indonesia/Attempted robbery
9 17 April IVS Magpie Singapore/Bulk Carrier Campha Outer anchorage, Vietnam/Board and robbery
10 19 April Singapore River Singapore/Tanker Dumai inner anchorage, Indonesia/Robbery
11 22 April Eng Tou 266 Singapore/Barge Carrier Off Tanjung Ayajm, Malaysia/Barge stolen
12 23 April AD Phoenix Singapore/Tanker NE of Bintan Island, Indonesia/Robbery; no response authorities
13 24 April Hub 21 Malaysia/Tug South China Sea/Robbery; 15 pirates in 3 speedboats, 9 crew taken hostage, some assaulted and tied up.
14 24 April Nadiya Melisende Kiribati/Product Tanker NE of Bintan Island, Indonesia/Robbery
15 27 April Fairchem Maverick Panama/Chemical Tanker Berth Ocean Quay 106, Belawan Port, Indonesia/Robbery, 2 robbers board vessel
16 29 April Crest Gold1/Crest 2821 Singapore/Tug and Barge Singapore Straits/Robbery from barge being towed by tug
17 30 April Kohinoor Panama/General Cargo Ship Belawan Port, Indonesia/Robbery during customs/Discharge ops

South America

Serial Date Vessel Name Flag/Type Location/Type of Incident
1 13 April Unique Guardian Hong Kong, China/Chemical Tanker Punta Talara anchorage, Peru/robbery
2 15 April Maersk Nienburg Hong Kong, China/Container Ship Guayaquil, Ecuador/Boarding
3 16 April Shamrock Barbados/Ro-Ro Cargo Ship Cartagena Inner anchorage, Colombia/Robbery


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