6 Crew Kidnapped from Anchored Tanker at Bonny Outer Anchorage

April 19: Initial reports that at 13:30 UTC an anchored tanker at Bonny Outer Anchorage in Nigeria was boarded by unauthorised persons who kidnapped six crew and escaped. Remaining crew reported safe. Nigerian navy notified and investigations are ongoing.

Source: Maritime Security Review


Heightened Risk, Security Measures, and Travel Disruptions Likely in Sri Lanka Amid Series of Bombings

April 23: On the afternoon of 21 April 2019, explosions occurred at a hotel near the Dehiwala Zoo, located in southern Colombo, and along the Mahawila Udyanaya Road in Dematagoda, a suburb located in eastern Colombo. Authorities also discovered an improvised explosive device on a road near Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB/VCBI) in Colombo and placed the airport on lockdown while they destroyed the bomb in a controlled explosion. Operations at the airport continued uninterrupted.

The attack follows six previous bombings that targeted prominent hotels and churches in the cities of Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa earlier on 21 April. Thus far, at least 290 people have been killed and more than 500 injured. In light of the continued attacks, security officials implemented a nationwide curfew time with immediate effect. Reports as of 22 April indicate that the curfew will last until at least 0400 local time on 23 April (2230 UTC on 22 April).

Police sources have stated that the bombings on the afternoon of 21 April appear to have occurred as a result of suspects attempting to escape security forces. Police sources have arrested at least 13 people in connection with the attacks. Jamaat al-Tawhid al-Watania has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack, although their claim has not been corroborated.

Disruptions and delays at hospitals, airports, train stations and other major travel hubs are likely due to increased security measures throughout the country. SriLankan Airlines, the national airline service, has advised travellers departing from Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport (VCBI/CMB) to arrive at the airport four hours ahead of their scheduled flight due to heightened security measures at the airport.

Source: Maritime Security Review



On 21 April, fishing vessels FV Adria and FV Txori Argi were attacked by suspected pirates in the Indian Ocean, 280 NM off the coast of Somalia. The piracy attacks were thwarted, and the crew and vessels remained safe, thanks to the application of Best Management Practices (BMP) protection measures by the Masters, the crews and the private security teams embarked on both fishing vessels.

EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta confirms these attacks. It is likely that the attacks were facilitated by a mothership, which was reportedly seized by armed men on 19 April off the central Somali Coast.

EU NAVFOR subsequently dispatched its Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircrafts to search the area. In addition, EU NAVFOR flagship ESPS Navarra left the port in Mombasa in order to proceed into the area.
On 23 April, ESPS NAVARA successfully intercepted and boarded the dhow being used as a mothership.

The operation is still ongoing, and more details will be provided upon completion.
EU NAVFOR remains committed to deterring, preventing and suppressing piracy and emphasizes that the Maritime Industry must adhere to BMP measures in order to maximize the safety of the ship and their crews whilst transiting the high-risk area.




11 Unauthorized Persons Board Tanker at Visakhapatnam Anchorage

April 13: At 10:06 UTC five boats with eleven persons approached a tanker during anchoring operations in Visakhapatnam, India. Upon anchoring, the boats came alongside, hooked on ropes to the ship’s rails and commenced boarding the tanker. Alarm raised, ships horn sounded, and crew mustered on deck. Port authorities notified. The unauthorised persons remained on deck as the crew prevented them from entering the accommodation. They did not confront the crew but refused to leave the tanker. Finally, on seeing the approaching pilot boat the unauthorised persons disembarked.

Source: Maritime Security Review


Pirate Attack

Date: 21st April 2019

Location: 002900S, 0483600E

UKMTO HAS RECEIVED FURTHER CLARIFICIATION On 21 APR 2019 at approximately 0712Z two trawlers were involved in an incident 240nm SE of Mogadishu in position: 0029S 04836E. One was approached by two skiffs with 8-10 POB. A second trawler went to its aid and was fired upon in position 0057S 04839E at 0830Z by one skiff. Embarked AST returned fire and skiff departed. Crew and vessels are SAFE.

Source: UKMTO


Report: Greeks, American arrested, suspected of piracy

Nineteen alleged pirates — including three Greeks and an American — were arrested over the weekend in the Gulf of Guinea and suspected of stealing oil and illegal possession of firearms, according to local media.

Lagos-based The Nation reports nine of the men were taken into custody during a joint operation between the Nigerian and US navies Sunday night.

Pirates “effectively hijack” ship in Gulf of Guinea

Gulf of Guinea piracy spike continues into 2019

The men were reportedly aboard a Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency ship called the Sea Angels 3 with four rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

When contacted by Nigerian Navy Ship Centenary, they were said to have provided unsatisfactory answers about origin and destination.

The four foreigners, The Nation reported, did not have visas but they did have a pass purportedly from the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority.

The remaining 10 were arrested aboard an oil barge said to be “roaming on the seas in a questionable way.”

US African Command said it was “aware of similar reports” and that it was monitoring the situation. The US State Department declined comment, citing privacy concerns.

The Nation reported the arrests were part of Operation Junction Rain, which the US African Command says is part of the African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership program.

In it, local navies are supported by the US Coast Guard and Navy, advising and assisting locals with at-sea boardings.

The Gulf of Guinea remains one of the most dangerous areas globally for piracy.

While the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reported a year over year decline in incidents for the first quarter of 2019, the 21 kidnappings all occurred in the gulf, along with 22 armed robberies.

Last year, where piracy spiked after back-to-back declines, all six ship hijackings occurred in the Gulf of Guinea.

Source: TradeWinds


UK Frigate Repositions to Bahrain for 3-Year Counter-Narcotics and Counter-Terrorism Mission

The UK Royal Navy’s HMS Montrose has arrived in Bahrain to begin a three-year mission.

HMS Montrose will conduct regular patrols dealing with drug trafficking in the Indian Ocean – where HMS Dragon scored a record-breaking eight busts over the winter – supporting counter-terrorism and counter-smuggling operations, and work with Middle East and allied navies to ensure the safety and security of this key region.

Instead of returning home to the UK after a six to nine-month deployment, Montrose is being stationed in Bahrain until 2022 to ensure a permanent presence and spare warships the lengthy passage to and from Britain, time which could be spent on patrol in the Middle East.

Source: Maritime Security Review


ReCAAP Q1 2019 Report on Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia

A total of 10 incidents of armed robbery against ships (comprising nine actual incidents and one attempted incident) were reported in Asia during January-March 2019 compared to 21 incidents (comprising 15 actual incidents and six attempted incidents) during January-March 2018. This accounts for a 52% decrease in the total number of incidents reported during January-March 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. The number of actual incidents has also decreased by 40% during January-March 2019 compared to January-March 2018. Both the total number of incidents and number of actual incidents reported during January-March 2019 are the lowest among the period of January-March of 13-year (2007-2019).

The nine actual incidents reported during January-March 2019 were less severe incidents with one CAT 3 incident and eight CAT 4 (petty theft) incidents. There were no severe incidents such as CAT 1 and CAT 2.

All incidents reported during January-March 2019 were armed robbery against ships. No piracy incident was reported. There were improvements at some ports and anchorages during January-March 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. The improvement was most apparent at the ports and anchorages in Indonesia; with three incidents reported in Indonesia during January-March 2019 compared to nine incidents during the same period in 2018.

There were also improvements at the ports and anchorages in Bangladesh, India and Vietnam. No incidents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY were reported at these ports/anchorages during January-March 2019 compared to three incidents reported in Bangladesh and two incidents each in India and Vietnam during January-March 2018. There was no incident of abduction of crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah during JanuaryMarch 2019. Despite the improvement of the situation in the Sulu-Celebes Seas, the abduction of crew for ransom remains a serious threat in the area. Shipping companies are advised to follow the ReCAAP ISC’s Incident Alert dated 21 Nov 16 and maintain close communication with the contact centres of the national reporting centres.

Of concern was the increase in the number of incidents at some anchorages in China and incidents of theft of scrap metal from barges while underway in the Singapore Strait during January-March 2019.

The ReCAAP ISC reiterates the need for enforcement agencies to enhance surveillance, increase patrols and respond promptly to the reports of incidents. Ship masters and crew are strongly advised to exercise vigilance, maintain all round lookouts, report all incidents to the nearest coastal State and flag State immediately and implement preventive measures recommended in the Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia.

Source: Maritime Security Review


Pirates board tanker in Nigeria and open fire

Four persons in a speed boat armed with automatic weapons approached and boarded an anchored product tanker, on April 15, at Bonny River Inner Anchorage, Nigeria. Fires were shot, with the pirates eventually retreating and escaping.

Four persons in a speed boat armed with automatic weapons approached an anchored product tanker, at Bonny River Inner Anchorage, Nigeria.

wo persons managed to board the tanker and open fire towards the accommodation. The on board Nigerian naval guards returned the fire, leading the persons to retreat into their boat and escaping. One guard was injured during the shooting and was given first aid by the crew.

The alarm was also raised, a PA announcement was made and the crewmembers gathered in the citadel, while Bonny Signal Station and Nigerian Navy were notified.

After the incident, two security boats responded and approached the tanker. The injured guard was transferred to a security boat and taken ashore for medical assistance.

The remaining crew are reported to be safe.

This comes at a time when a recent IMB report for the first quarter of 2019, revealed less incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships than the first three months of 2018.

Specifically, during the first quarter of 2019, IMB reported 38 incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea, which are 28 less incidents than the first quarter of 2018, which stood at 66.

Regarding Nigeria, it is a hotspot for piracy incidents over the last ten years, however, in the first quarter of 2019, the country saw a reduction in reported piracy incidents. It specifically reported 14 incidents of piracy for Q1 2019, in comparison to 22 incidents in Q1 2018.

These results confirm the Nigerian Navy’s increased efforts to
‘actively respond to reported incidents by dispatching patrol boats’.

Despite the positive results, Nigerian waters are still risky for ships, especially the port of Lagos where four incidents have been reported.




5/04/2019 Posn 4.22 – 3.78

Pirates armed with rifles and grenade launchers boarded a merchant ship in the Gulf of Guinea and stole cash and valuables from the crew.

They then stayed with the ship for four days in what was effectively a hijack.

The incident came to light after a Spanish Navy patrol vessel, the P-71 SERVIOLA, observed the ship behaving erratically.

The ship’s Automatic Identification System (AIS) was switched off and it failed to respond to radio contact.

Details of the incident were provided by the Spanish Navy on April 10.

It said its patrol vessel dispatched a search party of marines and as they approached the ship the pirates fled in a small craft.

The ship’s captain reported that the pirates had been in control for four days and had prevented him making radio contact. He said his crew of Nigerian seafarers were unharmed.

The Spanish marines and their patrol vessel stayed at the scene until they were satisfied the pirates were not going to return.

The Nigerian merchant ship then set course for Lagos.

The deployment of the offshore Spanish patrol vessel P-71 SERVIOLA in the Gulf of Guinea is part of international efforts to improve maritime security in the region.

The Spanish Navy did not disclose exactly where or when the P-71 SERVIOLA made its intervention but it released a short video of part of the operation.

Pirates operating out of West African have made the Gulf of Guinea one of the world’s most dangerous sea areas for merchant shipping.

There were at least 14 attacks on ships in the first three months of 2019 and almost 30 seafarers are believed to have been abducted.

Crews should exercise extreme caution throughout the Gulf of Guinea.

They should avoid slow steaming and watch for the approach of small vessels, especially at night.

Evasive action and the use of citadels have proved effective in frustrating pirate assaults. Ship operators should also consider vessel hardening measures.

Source: Gray Page

Language »