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
GIS Data Sources : NGA, NASA, GIST, UNOSAT, VLIZ, GEBCO
Map Production : UNOSAT (24 April 2008)
Map Scale 1:4,100,000 for A2 Print
Map Projection: Transverse Mecator - WGS-84
UNOSAT Contact Information: email@example.com
- Fax: +41-22-917 8062 - 24/7 Hotline: +41 76 487 4998 Phone: +41 22 917
8517 - www.unosat.org
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
3) UNHCR estimates over 130 Somali refugees drowned after two smuggler boats capsized while en-route to Yemen (21
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 (IM
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
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
13) WFP has successfully delivered about 100,000 tones of food aid via 14 ships to Somalia since naval escorts began in
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
17) Pirates hijack Russian Tug 'Svitzer Korsakov' on 1 Feb 2008 and take vessel to Eyl. Released on 18 March 2008.
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.