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MMNETSEA 08-23-2008 12:23 AM

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Here with courtesy of the US Navy we have an excellent graphic of Piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean off the East Coast of Somalia.

Careful reading and understanding should ensure that Owners and Skippers will consider very carefully any plans they may have to transit the Gulf of Aden during the foreseeable future.


For larger view click the image's top (black) header & then click on the image again.

Text accompanying the Map Graphic :-

"Reported Incidents of Pirate Attacks & Hijackings off the Coast of Somalia in 2008

Summary of Reported Pirate Incidents Since 1 January 2008:

Sharp increase in reported pirate activity along the coast of Puntland in the Gulf of Aden (5 hijackings & 6 attempted hijackings)

and dramatic reduction of pirate activity in southern Somali waters (only one hijacking) for January - April 2008.

- 6 Hijackings (including Spanish vessel Playa De Bakio 20/4/08)

- 6 Attempted Hijackings (Including Japanese Tanker Takayama 21/4/08)

- 14 suspicious approaches

This map illustrates reported incidents of piracy off the Somali coast from 1 January to 24 April 2008 (highlighted with red halo).

Events from 2005 to 2007 are also shown. The incidents are classified into 7 types: 'Hijacked' where pirates have taken control of

a ship; 'Attempted Hijacking' where pirates have deployed weapons and attempted to hijack a vessel and failed; 'Suspicious

Approach' where a suspicious vessel has followed or chased another ship; 'Pirates Captured' where pirates have been arrested;

'Pirate Land Base' where pirates concentrate ashore; 'Suspected Pirate Mother Ship', the suspected location of a large vessel used

to launch multiple attacks with smaller, high speed boats in deep water; and 'Military Strike Against Pirates', where a foreign

military power has deployed weapons in a military strike against either pirate vessels or their associated resources on land. A

majority of reported 'Suspicious Approach' incidents may represent accidental vessel approaches misperceived as a pirate threat.

Of special interest is the apparent dramatic reduction of pirate activity in southern Somali waters, and a corresponding increase in

activity centered in the Gulf of Aden along the coast of Puntland, the semi-autonomous state of Somalia.

Incident Data : ICC-IMB, ONI-ASAM, Garowe, Shabelle MN

Satellite Data : ASTER, Formosat, Landsat ETM, MODIS


Map Production : UNOSAT (24 April 2008)

Map Scale 1:4,100,000 for A2 Print

Map Projection: Transverse Mecator - WGS-84

UNOSAT Contact Information: - Fax: +41-22-917 8062 - 24/7 Hotline: +41 76 487 4998 Phone: +41 22 917

8517 -


1) * UKMTO Note: The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Organization 'advises there have been a number of reports of

possible piracy incidents involving groups of small boats in [April 2008]. Current assessments…suggest that they are

more likely to be smugglers than piracy related. The small boats may possibly be attempting to trail larger merchant

vessels to avoid radar detection or to create a lee from adverse weather. Is it also possible that suspicious crafts can

actually be fishermen attempting to move merchant vessels away from their nets by approaching the ship to make it

change its course. Small boats have been observed approaching on an interception course and have approached within

2NM. Masters are reminded that while coalition assets will endeavor to assist vessels with genuine problems they may

also be diverted to non-genuine calls. Masters are asked to assess carefully the urgency of the situation before making a

general call for coalition assistance.'(Source UKMTO & ONI-NGA Report 16 April 2008)

2) Over 35 Somali refugees drowned after being forced into the water by smugglers along the coast of Yemen 20

February 2008

3) UNHCR estimates over 130 Somali refugees drowned after two smuggler boats capsized while en-route to Yemen (21

January 2008)

4) The ICC International Maritime Bureau issue alert for Gulf of Aden followingincrease in pirate activity (April 2008)

5) Pirates hijack vessel 'Al21 April. Puntland forces launch naval operation and capture

pirates, free vessel on 22 April 2008.

6) The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) continues to recommend a minimum transit distance of 200 nautical miles

away from the coast for those vessels not calling on Somali ports [IMB-ICC 2008]

7) Pirates hijack French Yacht 'Le Ponant' on 4 April 2008 and take vessel to Garaad

8) U.S. Navy warships launch missiles at 3 targets in the village of Eyl, while hijacked Russian tug boat ' Svitzer

Korsakov' was held offshore (12 Feb. 2008). Puntland forces launch ground operation against pirates on 13 Feb. 2008.

Russian vessel released 18 March 2008 after $700,000 ransom paid.

9) After reported $2 million ransom paid, pirates release hijacked French yacht 'Le Ponant'. French launch helicopter raid

inland from Garaad village, capturing pirates on 12 April 2008.

10) Somalia's TFG President Abdullah Yusuf Ahmed authorizes foreign military intervention to combat Somali piracy (16

April 2008)

11) France & U.S. draft new UN resolution to allow foreign warships (and aircraft) to pursue pirates within Somalia's

territorial waters following the hijacking of the French yacht 'Le Ponant'

12) Spanish navy deploy frigate SPS Mendez Nuñez (F104) to support hijacked fishing vessel near village of Gaan (21

April 2008)

13) WFP has successfully delivered about 100,000 tones of food aid via 14 ships to Somalia since naval escorts began in

November 2007.

14) Dutch begin 3 month (April to June 2008) naval escort ofWFP food shipments, taking over from Danish naval patrols.

15) Pirates hijack Spanish fishing vessel 'Playa de Bakio' on 20 April 2008 and take vessel 5km off shore from Gaan. Only

reported attack in southern Somali waters from Jan-April 2008.

16) Puntland government official arrested on 5 February 2008 for alleged links with pirates in Eyl holding the hijacked

Russian vessel 'Svitzer Korsakov'. Official later released under 'mysterious circumstances' (Garowe Online report 24

February 2008).

17) Pirates hijack Russian Tug 'Svitzer Korsakov' on 1 Feb 2008 and take vessel to Eyl. Released on 18 March 2008.


Note :

The incidents recorded are those occurring up to and including April 2008. Since then we have had a serious upsurge in attacks and hostage taking - see other relevant topics in this forum.

In the meantime CL will contact the authors of the graphic to get an update.


Lighthouse 08-23-2008 09:30 AM

Thanks for the info. Also see Gulf of Aden on the Cruising Wiki - further contributions would be good!

Trim50 09-16-2008 07:15 PM

Wow...not a pretty picture!

MMNETSEA 09-26-2008 10:28 AM


Originally Posted by Trim50 (Post 25579)
Wow...not a pretty picture!

Today the BBC reports that the pirates have acquired 30 TANKS

from a ship they hijacked - what NEXT??????


Nausikaa 09-27-2008 06:21 AM


Originally Posted by MMNETSEA (Post 25986)
what NEXT??????


The Russians are sending a warship!

I think they may well be less concerned with protocol and more likely to knock some heads.

Aye // Stephen

MMNETSEA 09-27-2008 06:50 AM


Originally Posted by Nausikaa (Post 26021)
The Russians are sending a warship!

I think they may well be less concerned with protocol and more likely to knock some heads.

Aye // Stephen

Is it possible that they do not want anyone else to see exactly what is in that ship???

Nausikaa 09-27-2008 07:29 AM


Originally Posted by MMNETSEA (Post 26022)
Is it possible that they do not want anyone else to see exactly what is in that ship???

Not at all improbable, but for the cruising yachtsman the important thing is that these pirates get their just deserves. The Russians might just be the people to do that.

There has been a large Coallition force in the area for some considerable time now without effectively countering piracy. The Russians, who seem to be less sensitive to "wet" work could do the job. Maybe doing the right thing for the wrong reason but that would anyway benefit us.

Aye // Stephen

MMNETSEA 09-27-2008 09:17 AM

Hello Stephen,

With your experience of the Gulf and Yemen, here is an interesting development:-

The Australians have manned the Yemen Coast Guard with 16 fast light craft to assist in anti piracy ops:-

Straits Times News


Nausikaa 09-27-2008 09:23 AM

Interesting Richard but the problem is that unless the Australians (or other capable people) man the patrol boats then they will just end up inoperable as did the patrol boats the Yemeni Navy bought from Australia and the Yemeni Fisheries Inspectorate (Ministry of Fish Wealth) received in aid from Japan.

There is however a chance that the coast guard will be able to run the boats provided they get assistance with the maintenance.

The above is just my take on the situation. In this case, I hope I am proved wrong.

Aye // Stephen

Nausikaa 09-27-2008 09:54 AM

A further thought.

It is about a year since I left the region. My last task there was concerned with the practical training of boat crews. For this purpose, we used Yemeni Coast uard boats. Although I saw some improvement during the time I was there, my estimate of the capabilities of the Yemeni Coast Guard to run ships and boats remained consistently low. Without US and British support they would not have been able to keep their craft in commission.

Further, they did not have the officers and men to man 16 patrol boats then so, I wonder, where have they come from? I suspect that the Straits Times has got it wrong and that the patrol boats the Yemenis claim they will be using are the ones they bought from Oz. There were 10 Austral class (37.5 metre) patrol boats bought in 1994-95. Unfortunately for the Navy, after having sent engineers to Australia where they received advanced training most of them left the Navy promptly on their return to take up more lucrative civilian jobs.

Yemen is a country which has few well educated people, where a despotic government is permitted to remain in place thanks to a relatively benign attitude towards the west and where the people are more concerned about where the next bunch of kat is coming from than the rule of law and order or the well being of the country. It is a country where the rural areas are ruled by tribal heads, where inter-triabal fueds, if not outright warfare, are common, where tourists are often kidnapped and where no man is considered well-dressed without a Kalachnikov slung over his shoulder or woman without hiding all but her eyes. God help Yemen because president Saleh isn't, nor is his one brother (head of the Air Force), nor the other (head of the Army - did I mention neopitism?) nor is most of the populace.

All in all, until the coallition forces start running convoys piracy will continue in this area.

Again, I hope I am wrong but I fear I may be right.

Aye // Stephen

MMNETSEA 09-27-2008 12:35 PM


Price has Increased

At some stage a solution that the pirates understand will be arrived at. Blown out of the water!

gslabbert5119 09-28-2008 02:55 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Found this earlier today, here is the URL ....

My take is that the US may be concerned as to what is actually being carried on that ship and / or whose hands the arms and ammo may fall into. Just my opinion mind you ...

US destroyer nears Somali pirates...

A US navy destroyer (may be the USSHoward) has made visual contact with a Ukrainian ship which was seized by Somali pirates last week and is now moored off the town of Hobyo.

Attachment 635

Nausikaa 09-28-2008 04:31 PM


Originally Posted by gslabbert5119 (Post 26080)
A US navy destroyer (may be the USSHoward) has made visual contact with a Ukrainian ship which was seized by Somali pirates last week and is now moored off the town of Hobyo.

All very nice but until the US warship blows the pirates clean out of the water they (the pirates) will not stop. These people live by the sword and they should die by the sword. It is that simple!

Aye // Stephen

islandseeker 09-28-2008 05:28 PM

Hers a link to the latest from AFP

Looks like they "only" want $20 million for the hostages...Pretty soon that'll end up being some "serious" Once again, I'm in the wrong business

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