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Somali pirates release vessel after 10 months in captivity August 30, 2011

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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A Greece based shipping company has spoken of its distress during a piracy experience following the release of its hijacked tanker after 10 months in captivity.While Paradise Navigation, operators and managers of the 72,825 dwt product tanker MV Polar said it was “delighted” with the freeing, they were frustrated that owners and operators have been unaided against piracy.

While faced with many decisions on how to deal with piracy, ultimately shipping companies need to remain proactive in protecting their interests.  The community can’t afford to wait for intervention by international governments.  The message is loud and clear, this is an industry problem and needs to be dealt with by the industry.

Somali Pirates hijack vessel while at anchor! August 21, 2011

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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In what is being described as the first attack of its kind and the most brazen attack yet, Somali pirates hijacked the chemical tanker MV Fairchem Bogey with a crew of 20 Indians and flagged in the Marshall Islands.

She was taken at anchor off Port Salalah, Oman.  Boarded at 0530 and forced to heave up and steam toward Somalia.  An Omani warship fired across the bow but the Master was forced to call the managers and tell them that the pirates were prepared to kill the crew, all lined up on the bridge, if the pursuit was not called off.  The warship shadowed the vessel until out of Omani territorial waters.

This brazen attack demonstrates the tactics used by pirates will evolve and become more sophisticated over time.  This year alone there have been many firsts; attacks in the Red Sea, vessels hijacked during Monsoon season, not releasing crews after ransoms were paid and now hijacking vessels while anchored at port.

Pirate Attack Thwarted After Gun Battle August 16, 2011

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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Somali pirates attempted to board a ship in the Indian Ocean on Monday night and were stopped after a short gun battle by the security forces on board.  The pirates in two speedboats fled after the short exchange of gunfire.  The important point to be taken from this example is that armed security is effective and does not need to be lethal.  Pirates are rational actors and as such, they are not going to engage in a lengthy gun battle and risk loss of life to board a ship with professionally trained security when there are thousands of unarmed vessels in the region.  In this example, gunfire was exchanged and nobody was hit, wounded, or killed.  The exchange alone was enough to deter the would be hijackers.

Were 17 Algerian sailors abducted by Somali pirates killed? August 10, 2011

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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The MV Blida, an Algerian-flagged bulk carrier with a crew of 27, including 17 from Algeria, was captured in January 2011 by Somali pirates around 150 miles southeast of Salalah in southern Oman.

Recent reports indicate that the seventeen seafarers have been killed by Somali pirates, however Algeria denied on Sunday reports over the death of its seventeen sailors abducted in Somalia, saying the 17 Algerian sailors were safe and sound.

Algerian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Amar Belani, was quoted by the Algerian official news agency (APS) as saying that they have made the required contacts, and it appeared that all their compatriots abducted by Somali pirates are safe and sound.

Belani rubbished the reports about the sailor’s death saying that there are hopeful that all the sailors would be able to confirm sooner to their relatives that they’re alive, emphasizing that authorities will keep working to free them as soon as possible.

The Algerian Foreign Ministry had promised family members of the abducted sailors to free them in July, noting that the government stood firmly against paying any ransom to the pirates.

Largest attack by pirates to date on single vessel! August 7, 2011

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The largest recorded attack on a single commercial vessel transiting the Gulf of Aden occurred in the southern Red Sea 30 nm north west of Bab-el-Mandeb by twelve (12) skiffs at approximately 1520Z in position 1302N 04307E.

The vessel managed to evade hijack and fortunately no crew members were hurt, however, this attack–a first–is unlike anything anyone has seen to date.  The pirate action group is still in the Red Sea by the mouth leading into the Gulf of Aden.  A perfect “fatal funnel” in tactical terms.

There have been dozens of attacks in this area this year and shipping companies are urged to use extreme caution and take preventive measures to ensure they don’t become a costly statistic.

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