April 24: Posn: 06:20.3N – 003:20.5E, Lagos Anchorage, Nigeria.
Three robbers in a small craft approached and boarded an anchored tanker. Duty AB on routine rounds noticed the robbers near the cargo tank and notified the OOW. Alarm raised, PA announcement made and crew mustered. Hearing the alarm and seeing the crew alertness, the robbers jumped overboard along with their hose and escaped in their boat. The incident was reported to a naval patrol boat. Nothing reported stolen.
Source: Maritime Security Review
April 27: A Canadian and a Scottish oil worker were kidnapped by armed men off a rig in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta over the weekend, a military spokesperson told CNN on Monday.
The foreign nationals were seized by the gunmen who attacked an oil rig owned by Niger Delta Petroleum Resources in the southern Rivers State around 8am local (3aET) on Saturday, Major Ibrahim Abubakar, a spokesman for the Niger Delta Military operations said.
“We have sent troops to the area, but we have not been able to locate the abductors and abductees,” said Abubakar, adding that the military has extended the search for the nationals beyond the area where the incident occurred.
Abubakar added that no ransom has been demanded yet for the workers, who have not been named.
This latest kidnapping comes after two Shell workers were abducted and their police escorts killed on Thursday, a Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria spokesman said.
Those two Shell workers have not been named nor their nationalities released.
Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta region produces the bulk of the country’s crude oil but has been hit by violence from militia and armed gangs.
Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria and foreign workers and prominent Nigerians are often targets.
Last year, British missionary Ian Squires was killed after being abducted with three others in the Delta area.
Source: Maritime Security Review
On 24 Apr 19 at about 0510 hrs, a Cyprus-registered tug boat, Union Topaz towing a backhoe dredger, Magnor was underway at approximately 5 nm west-north-west of Nipa island, Indonesia when two perpetrators boarded the dredger. Two wooden boats were sighted alongside the backhoe dredger. The master shone light at the backhoe dredger, and the two perpetrators escaped via the wooden boats. The crew was safe and no items were reported stolen. The pilot on board the tug boat reported the incident to Singapore’s VTIS who initiated the safety navigational broadcast and notified the Singapore Police Coast Guard, the RSN and the Indonesian authority.
Source: Maritime Security Review
On 25 Apr 19 at about 0530 hrs, a Malaysia-registered tug boat, Vector 1 towing barge Yong Tat 319 was underway off Tanjung Piai, Malaysia when three to four perpetrators boarded the barge. The master reported the incident to Singapore’s VTIS who informed the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA). The crew was safe and no items were reported stolen.
Source: Maritime Security Review
The Indian Coast Guard has increased surveillance and deployed more ships and aircraft for patrolling following a series of devastating blasts in Sri Lanka on Sunday.
This has been done to ensure that no element that could pose as a security threat sneaks into the country through sea, a senior Coast Guard official said.
“We have deployed all our ships from Coast Guard stations at Tuticorin, Mandapam and Karaikal for surveillance,” the official said.
He said the surveillance was stepped up as soon as reports of the blasts started emerging Sunday.
Seven suicide bombers, believed to be members of an Islamist extremist group, carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing 290 people and wounding 500 others in the country’s worst terror attack.
Source: Maritime Security Review
The capture of a Yemeni dhow off the Somalian coast [on April 19] was all that initially went right for a suspected pirate gang. Four days later they and the captured vessel were apprehended by the European Union Naval Force’s (EU NavFor’s) Operation Atalanta after failed attempts to board three vessels.
The incidents, which played out between 19 and 23 April, were the first attempted pirate attacks off the Horn of Africa since October last year.
EU NavFor reports the incidents began on 19 April when five suspected pirates captured a Yemeni dhow off the Somali coast. They transited the coast stopping at a pirate base camp to boost their numbers.
“Two days later the Korean fishing vessel Adria was attacked with the dhow as a mother ship in the Indian Ocean about 280 nautical miles off the Somali coast. FV Adria started evasive manoeuvres and increased speed. The Spanish Fishing Vessel Txori Argi operating in the vicinity moved to assist the FV Adria with skiffs in pursuit. An hour later both vessels were approached by the skiffs and fired upon with what was believed to be a rocket-propelled grenade.
“Private armed security teams (PAST) on board the FV Adria and FV Txori Argi responded, forcing the skiffs to retreat. The same day another fishing vessel, FV Shin Shuen Far 889, reported being approached by two skiffs, which retreated when the PAST on board uncovered weapons,” according to an Operation Atalanta statement.
These contacts saw EU NavFor dispatch maritime patrol aircraft with almost immediate success when the mother ship was found and identified. Working in conjunction with the airborne assets, current EU NavFor flagship ESPS Navarra intercepted and boarded the captured dhow, apprehending five suspected pirates and releasing 23 hostages aboard.
The operation was piloted by force headquarters under the command of Operation headquarters, recently relocated to Rota in Spain from Northwood in the United Kingdom.
“The support of PAST and EU NavFor active assets including the frigate ESPS Navarra and MPRAs German Jester and Spanish Cisna, Operation Atalanta controlled the situation and prevented further imminent attacks,” the statement said adding a quote from Operation Commander Antonio Martorell.
“This incident clearly demonstrates piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia has not been eradicated. The need for a strong maritime security presence in the high-risk area remains critical for the deterrence and prevention of future incidents and attacks.”
Source: Maritime Security Review
The High Court in Dar es Salaam has sentenced seven Somali nationals to life imprisonment over piracy. Judge Yose Mlyambina meted the harsh sentence last week against Mohamed Adam, Bashir Rooble, Muhsini Haji, Abdulwaidi Abdalahamani, Faragani Abdul, Ally Nur Ally and Omar Mohamed, alias Mudhee after convicting them of the charges they were facing.
He took into consideration evidence by 14 prosecution witnesses and six documentary exhibits as well as the defence testimony by the accused.
The judge concluded that the prosecution had sufficiently proved its case beyond reasonable doubt as required in criminal cases.
During the trial, which was being conducted almost to midnight in every court session, the prosecution was represented by Dar es Salaam Regional Prosecutions Officer, Senior State Attorney Mkunde Mshanga as well as Senior State Attorney Cecilia Shelly and State Attorney George Barasa.
Advocates Aloyce Komba, Domicus Mkwera, Rupia Abraham, Msemo Omary, Dennis Tumaini, Benedict Pius and Gelas Severine appeared for the accused who were charged with one count of piracy, contrary to Section 66 (1) (a) (b) of the Penal Code, as amended.
The provision reads, “Any person who does any act of violence or detention or degradation, committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or aircraft and directed against another ship or aircraft, or persons or property on board, (…) or in a place outside the jurisdiction of any state. “…participates in the operation of a ship or of an aircraft with knowledge of facts making it a pirate ship or aircraft, or does any act of inciting or of intentionally facilitating an act (stated above) commits an act of piracy.”
The prosecution had told the court that the accused committed the offence on October 3, 2011 in the Indian Ocean and within Tanzania’s Exclusive Economic Zone, by attacking an oil exploration vessel-SAM S ALLGOOD- using firearms.
According to the law under which the seven men were charged with, notably Sub-Section (2) of the Act, a person who does or participates in the piracy commits an offence of piracy and on conviction is liable to life imprisonment.
In October 2011, a Navy Unit of the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) captured the Somali suspects a short distance away from Mafia Island at night.
The oil prospecting vessel was attacked by a group of at least seven ocean suspected terrorists of Somali origin. But, when the attack was radioed in the Tanzanian navy units in the area immediately deployed to intercept the pirates. Upon closing in on the pirates a fire fight reportedly ensued before the navy personnel overpowered them.
Having been captured, the pirates were taken into custody. According to evidence on record, all accused persons attacked the vessel through open fire amounting to threatening crewmen of the ship and the accused went further, exchanging fire with TPDF soldiers.
The soldiers had been assigned to ensure security of the drilling site of gas and oil exploration.
It was evident that the accused who were in the skiff, fired gunshot at the ship by hitting and breaking the vessel about eight holes and 12 marks before taking its control.
The Master of the ship and offshore manager saw the accused ready to board the ship and ordered his crew to rescue their lives by hiding in the engine room.
He later raised a distressed call and within few minutes the Tanzania security personnel arrived at the scene of the attack and found seven people sitting on the ship which they had attacked. They were arrested and taken to the Frobisher vessel where the TPDF members had control.
Source: HELLENIC SHIPPING NEWS
Four incidents of unauthorised boarding of ships were reported during January-April 2019, in locations of close proximity to each other, in the western sector of Singapore Strait, ReCAAP ISC said in an incident alert issued today.
All four incidents occurred to tug boats towing barges and dredger while underway in the westbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS).
Of the four incidents, two incidents reported loss of scrap metal, and nothing was reported stolen in the other two incidents. The crew was not injured in all four incidents.
The alert details the incidents as follows:
- On 5 Feb 19 at about 1709 hrs, a Malaysia-registered tug boat, Jin Hwa 43 towing barge Jin Hwa 44 was underway in the Singapore Strait when some perpetrators boarded the barge from a few small boats. The barge was laden with scrap metal. The master of the tug boat reported to Singapore’s Vessel Traffic Information System (VTIS) and Singapore Police Coast Guard. The crew was safe. The master later reported that the perpetrators had left the barge with some scrap metal. The tug boat and barge continued her voyage to Penang, Malaysia.
- On 5 Mar 19 at about 1110 hrs, a Malaysia-registered tug boat Sung Fatt 31 towing barge Sung Fatt 36 was underway in the Singapore Strait when 11 perpetrators boarded the barge from two small crafts. The barge was carrying scrap metal and bound for Penang, Malaysia. At about 1145 hrs, the master reported that the 11 perpetrators escaped in their small crafts with some scrap metal. The crew was safe. The master of the tug boat reported the incident to Singapore’s VTIS who initiated the safety navigational broadcast and notified the Singapore Police Coast Guard and the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).
- On 24 Apr 19 at about 0510 hrs, a Cyprus-registered tug boat, Union Topaz towing a backhoe dredger, Magnor was underway at approximately 5 nm west-north-west of Nipa island, Indonesia when two perpetrators boarded the dredger. Two wooden boats were sighted alongside the backhoe dredger. The master shone light at the backhoe dredger, and the two perpetrators escaped via the wooden boats. The crew was safe and no items were reported stolen. The pilot on board the tug boat reported the incident to Singapore’s VTIS who initiated the safety navigational broadcast and notified the Singapore Police Coast Guard, the RSN and the Indonesian authority.
- On 25 Apr 19 at about 0530 hrs, a Malaysia-registered tug boat, Vector 1 towing barge Yong Tat 319 was underway off Tanjung Piai, Malaysia when three to four perpetrators boarded the barge. The master reported the incident to Singapore’s VTIS who informed the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA). The crew was safe and no items were reported stolen.
“With the occurrence of four incidents in close proximity to each other within a period of three months, ReCAAP ISC recommends all ships, particularly tug boats to exercise enhanced vigilance, adopt extra precautionary measures and report all incidents immediately to the nearest coastal State. The ReCAAP ISC urges the relevant littoral States to step up surveillance, increase patrols and respond promptly to all reports of incidents,”
…ReCAAP ISC advised.
The Maritime Administration of the Republic of Marshall Islands issued a marine notice concerning vessels sailing in Indonesian waters and intend to anchor in these areas.
The Indonesian Marine Police alerts all vessels that intend to anchor at or near the areas below to conduct patrols for greater protection:
- Belawan: 03:55.00N-098:45.30E
- Dumai: 01:42.00N-101:28.00E
- Nipah: 01:07.30N-103:37.00E
- Tanjung Berakit/Bintan: 01:23.30N – 104:42.30E
- Tanjung Priok: 06:00.30S-106:54.00E
- Gresik: 07:09.00S-112:40.00E
- Taboneo: 03:41.30S-114:28.00E
- Adang bay: 01:40.00S-116:40.00E
- Muara Berau: 00:17.00S-117:36.00E
- Balikpapan: 01:22.00S-116:53.00E
In addition the Indonesian Marine Police advises vessels to operate at Security Level 2, maintain strict anti-piracy watch and measures, and report all security incidents and suspicious sightings to the local authorities and the IMB PRC.
The IMB PRC will liaise with local authorities to render necessary assistance.
Incidents may also be reported directly to the Indonesian authorities by contacting Badan Keamanan Laut Republic Indonesia (BAKAMLA).
The Maritime Administration of the Marshall Islands issued an advisory concerning vessels operating in or near the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman. The note highlights that many are the countries that conduct naval exercises and operations in these areas. Thus, this advisory supplements information and navigation warnings routinely provided by other sources.
Specifically, the Administration states that in the possibility that a vessel is hailed by non-coalition naval forces, RMI flagged commercial vessels navigating these waters should provide vessel name, flag State, and affirm that they are exercising navigation rights in accordance with international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
In addition, if non coalition naval forces seek to board an RMI flagged commercial vessel navigating these waters, the ship’s Master should, if the safety of the ship and crew would not be compromised, decline permission to board by noting that the vessel is exercising navigation rights in accordance with international law.
If non-coalition naval forces attempt to board an RMI flagged commercial vessel, the crew should immediately contact the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet Battle Watch. The crew should not forcibly resist the boarding party. Refraining from forcible resistance in no way indicates consent or agreement that such a boarding is consistent with international law.
All vessels should be aware that coalition naval forces may conduct maritime awareness calls, queries, and approaches to ensure the safety of vessels transiting the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Gulf of Oman.
RMI flagged commercial vessels approaching coalition naval forces are advised to maintain radio contact on Very High Frequency (VHF) Channel 16.