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Pirate Attacks

Yes, Oceanographers Can Help Predict Piracy Attacks

The US Naval Meteorology & Oceanography Command named a 2013 Computerworld Honors Laureate for its counter-piracy predictive modelling. The Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NAVMETOCCOM) received the award for a modeling capability developed by Naval oceanographers at Stennis Space Center that predicts the likelihood of pirate attacks.

IDG's Computerworld Honors Program selected NAVMETOCCOM as a 2013 Laureate in the field of Safety and Security for its development of its Pirate Attack Risk Surface (PARS). The PARS model produces a forecast of shipping vulnerability due to piracy at a certain latitude, longitude, and time. A few short months before Somali pirates hijacked the U.S.-flagged MV Maersk Alabama in 2009, NAVMETOCCOM operators were asked to assist in the fight against piracy, which had been on the rise in the Somali Basin due to government instability in the region. Pirate attacks are a threat to the United States' national security and foreign policy, and they impact maritime safety, disrupt shipping and ultimately cost the world's economy billions of dollars annually. 

 Within two weeks, the command had developed the framework of the first-generation Piracy Performance Surface (PPS) model, which produced maps of probability of attack based on how environmental conditions influenced pirate small boat operations.


Piracy: Attacks Getting Bigger, Bolder

According to data released July 14, 2011, by the International Maritime Bureau, pirate attacks off Somalia and in the GoA/Indian Ocean region climbed dramatically in the first six months of this year. Figures reveal that there were 266 attacks on vessels in this period compared with 196 attacks in 2010. “In the last six months, Somali pirates attacked more vessels than ever before and they’re taking higher risks,” IMB director Pottengal Mukundan said


Pirate Attacks at its Lowest Since 1999

According to the Hartford Courant, pirate attacks on ships fell last year to their lowest since 1999 as incidents declined off Indonesia, the world's most dangerous area for piracy. Attacks off Somalia and Iraq surged. Attacks dropped 16 percent, to 276. About 440 crewmembers were taken hostage last year, the highest since data has been compiled in 1992. Indonesia, whose oil-rich Aceh province has been struck by a separatist rebellion, accounted for almost a third of the attacks


Somali Piracy Contact Group: UN Plenary Meeting

The United States will join partners from over 85 countries, international organizations, & the private sector at the United Nations in New York on 1st May, 2013. The Contact Group is a growing diplomatic effort that is taking action against criminal activity that threatens commerce and humanitarian aid deliveries along one of the world’s busiest shipping corridors. On May 2, the Contact Group will hold a symposium, “Creating Economic Opportunities for Somalis


This Day in Naval History – July 21

1823 - After pirate attack, LT David G. Farragut leads landing party to destroy pirate stronghold in Cuba. 1944 - Invasion and recapture of Guam begins. 1946 - In first U.S. test of adaptability of jet aircraft to shipboard operations, XFD-1 Phantom makes landings and takeoffs without catapults from Franklin D. Roosevelt. 1987 - Navy escorts first Earnest Will Convoy in the Persian Gulf. (Source: Navy News


Danish Navy Foils Pirate Attack off Somali Coast

According to a report from AFP, a helicopter from a Danish warship under NATO operational control foiled a pirate attack August 28 on a merchant vessel in the Gulf of Aden. The Danish ship Esbern Snare launched a helicopter in response to a call for help from a merchant vessel, the Danish Navy told AFP. According to the report, a statement from NATO's maritime command said the attacked merchant ship was the Panamanian flagged MV Caribbean Carrier.


Dryad Maritime Welcomes Japanese Plans

Dryad Maritime, a U.K. commercial maritime intelligence company, welcomed the Japanese government’s plans to submit a bill to the National Diet which will permit the carriage of armed guards on Japanese-flagged vessels but advise that a number of other precautions must also be taken. The Japan Times last week reported on Japanese government plans to submit a bill to the National Diet that would permit armed guards to operate on Japanese ships given the view that their presence on


Super Tanker Attacked in Arabian Sea

A Liberian-flagged very large crude tanker, Sirius Star, was attacked more than 450 nautical miles southeast of Mombasa, Kenya, Nov. 15. The ship is owned by the Saudi Arabian-based Saudi Aramco and is operated by Vela International. The crew of 25 includes citizens of: Croatia, Great Britain, Republic of the Philippines, Poland and Saudi Arabia. This attack comes amid a decrease in the rate of successful pirate attacks on merchant vessels off the coast of Somalia


India Wants UN in Gulf of Aden

According to a report by the Hindustan Times, APVN Sarma, secretary (shipping), who is heading an Indian delegation to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in London, has asked the IMO to recommend to the UN to constitute a peacekeeping force under a unified command to keep a check on pirate attacks. (Source: Hindustan Times)


Danger on the High Seas

A tale of survival could best describe John S. Burnett's experience onboard his sloop Unicorn in January 1992. Sailing solo across the South China Sea to Singapore - one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world - Burnett was attacked by pirates. However, with luck on his side, Burnett, who is a journalist and professional seaman, survived. Following this harrowing experience, Burnett was prompted to investigate further the world of modern-day piracy - world that is as shocking as it is


MAS Debuts Exclusive Armor Systems

Photo: MAS

Following on from the continued success of the product, Marine Armor System (MAS) announced its global launch and updated website. MAS is a nonlethal vessel protection system based on ballistic blinds, protecting the vessel or rig against pirate attacks and other potential threats such as armed


Security at Sea on Agenda at Upcoming SMM Hamburg

Image courtesy of SMM

At the forthcoming SMM maritime trade fair in Hamburg in September 2014 experts will present new security concepts for sea routes. Background Security at sea is improving: In recent months, pirate attacks on commercial ships have been repelled successfully with increasing frequency


Pirate Activity Nil off Horn of Africa, Kidnappings in Gulf of Guinea

Kidnap location: Image OPINTEL

In its latest 'Piracy Analysis and Warning Weekly Report' OPINTEL inform of two kidnappings from tugboats on the coast of Nigeria; zero incidents off the Horn of Africa. Details as follows: Horn of Africa - Piracy Events Pirate and maritime crime activity in East African waters is at low


Spanish Vessel Joins Operation Atalanta

Photo: EU NAVFOR

EU Naval Force reported today that the Spanish Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), ESPS Relámpago joined its force to perform counter-piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia. Contributing to Operation Atalanta, ESPS Relámpago is the new Spanish contribution in place of ESPS Tornado which


IMB Warns of West Africa Piracy Threat

Parate arrest: Photo credit EUNAVFOR

The ICC International Maritime Bureau is asking ships to be extra vigilant when transiting West Africa as piracy in the region becomes a growing concern. Since the beginning of the year, one vessel, MT Kerala, has been hijacked and six were boarded in West Africa


Hijacked Tanker Returns Minus $8M of Diesel

MT Kerala (Photo: Greek World Reporter)

Reuters - An oil tanker hijacked for a week off Angola in January has been returned to the country's authorities, a board member at state oil firm Sonangol said on Tuesday, adding that the hijackers had stolen diesel worth $8 million from the ship.


Setting the Course Awards Banquet

Seafarers & International House will hold its 14th annual Setting the Course awards banquet the at the New York Athletic Club on Tuesday evening, April 22, 2014 to honor Donald J. Marcus, Edward R. Morgan and Captain Richard P. Phillips as the 2014 Outstanding Friends of Seafarers.


Drum Cussac Security Business up in 2013

DC Maritime Protection.JPG

Drum Cussac's maritime security market share grew by 50 percent in 2013   In the second half of 2013, the number of secured transits conducted by Drum Cussac, using both armed and un-armed security consultants, was 16% up on the same period in 2012.


Missing Tanker Found; Account of Pirate Attack Disputed

M/T Kerala vanished on January 18 off Angola; Angolan Navy says hijacking faked. The Angolan Navy is claiming that the crew of an oil tanker reported missing off its coast on Jan. 18 were part of faked pirate attack. Separately, a regional security expert who declined to be named for the


Vessel Guards Thwart Somali Pirate Attack

Dryad Maritime Intelligence have today confirmed the first piracy attack of 2014 which saw an attack launched by Somali pirates south of Salalah in the late hours of January 17. The news comes hot on the heels of the latest International Maritime Bureau (IMB) annual report on piracy and maritime


Cargo Ship Mistakenly Thought Pirates Boarding

Arrested ship: Photo courtesy of the owners

Eritrean forces in the Red Sea have boarded a merchant vessel that was in their territorial waters in an incident the crew initially reported as a pirate attack, reports Reuters. It was not immediately clear why the forces boarded the ship, the MV Marzooqah


ICS Reports on Lessons from Somali Piracy

Peter Hinchliffe

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), a global trade association for shipowners, has issued a paper drawing upon the international shipping industry’s experience of Somali-based piracy during the period 2007 to 2013. “The intention is to identify lessons learned in order to


EU, Seychelles Conduct Counter-Piracy Exercise

pirate ex 1.jpg

On Friday 10 January, the Seychelles Coast Guard, Air Force and Police Force, together with the EU Naval Force Somalia - Operation Atalanta and EUCAP Nestor, carried out a counter-­piracy exercise in the Seychelles. The exercise involved the boarding of a suspected pirate skiff that had


EU to Lead International Counter Piracy Efforts in 2014

From the January 1, 2014 the European Union will assume for one year the chairmanship of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) with Maciej Popowski, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) as EU chairperson


Warship Helps Food Aid Reach Kismayo

Photo: EU NAVFOR

On Wednesday, December 11, Spanish EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) ship ESPS Tornado completed a three-day escort of a World Food Program (WFP) chartered vessel. The WFP ship was escorted by ESPS Tornado from Mombasa to the port of Kismayo in Somalia.


 
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