Enesel ULCV tangles with pirates in Gulf of Aden

A Greek-owned ultra-large containership has had a close encounter with pirates during a recent transit of the Gulf of Aden.

The incident involved the Enesel-controlled 13,806-teu Thalassa Niki (built 2013) and took place in position 13°50.97′ N, 51° 26.18′ E.

The incident took place in the latter part of February, but news of the incident has gone largely unreported by the media.

Details have only just appeared in a recent report by the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against ships in Asia (ReCAAP).

The ReCAAP report said that while underway, the Thalassa Niki’s officer-on-watch spotted a suspicious boat towing three skiffs within the vicinity

“About seven minutes thereafter, the ship received a Mayday call via VHF 16 that a sailing yacht Arakai which was 15 nm ahead of the ship, was being pursued by two skiffs,” it said.

“Due to the inability of Arakai to contact the coalition Navy, the master of the ship reported the incident to UKMTO.”

When the Thalassa Niki was nearly abeam to the yacht, one of the skiffs is said to have approached at about 1.5 nm towards the ship’s starboard side and another skiff attempted to close in to 1 nm from its starboard side.

ReCAAP said the other three skiffs remained stationary at approximately 2.5 nm from the Singapore-flagged ship’s position.

In response the ship’s general alarm was raised and the crew mustered at the ship’s citadel. Meanwhile, the master increased the ship’s speed to maximum.

However, a Japanese naval vessel was deployed in the area and when the perpetrators noticed its presence, they are said to have immediately abandoned their attempt.