Archive for the ‘cargo’ Category

Somai Pirates: Crew Makes Daring Escape

November 29, 2008

Two British ship security guards and their Irish colleague escaped kidnapping on Friday by jumping into the sea as Somali pirates hijacked a Singaporean tanker in the Gulf of Aden – the latest in a soaring spate of attacks.

By Mike Pflanz in Nairobi
The Telegraph (UK)
The men leapt overboard and were rescued by a German navy helicopter before being flown to the safety of a French frigate nearby.

At least another 25 of the crew, from India and Bangladesh, were still on the Liberian-flagged Biscaglia last night, a chemical tanker which was sailing through the pirate-infested waters between Somalia and Yemen.

The three worked for Anti-Piracy Maritime Security Solutions, a shipping protection firm headquartered in Poole, Dorset.

“APMSS are aware of an incident that occurred this morning on a chemical tanker Biscaglia,” said Nick Davis, a former pilot who set up the company earlier this year.

Somali hostages - British crew jump overboard as pirates hijack another tanker off Somalia

The men, who were rescued by the German navy, board a helicopter from the French Frigate to begin their journey home Photo: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

“We have been informed by coalition military authorities that three of our unarmed security staff were rescued from the water by a coalition helicopter and are currently on board a coalition warship in the Gulf of Aden.

“We have established procedures in place to deal with this and are working hard with the ship owners to assist in this fast developing situation. Our prime concern is the safety of all the people involved.”

Five pirates in a small open speedboat approached the Biscaglia in broad daylight yesterday morning and succeeded in boarding despite the security detachment.

Mr Davis’s firm uses a variety of non-lethal tools to keep pirates away, including audio and magnetic acoustic devices which broadcast messages and even debilitating sonic squeals over long distances.

It is not clear if this equipment was deployed on the Biscaglia.

Noel Choong, head of the piracy reporting centre at the International Maritime Bureau in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, confirmed that the ship sent a distress call at 0447 GMT.

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/piracy/
3533644/British-crew-jump-overboard-as-pirates-
hijack-another-tanker-off-Somalia.html

Somali Pirates Hijack Chemical Tanker, Release Greek Cargo Ship

November 28, 2008

Somali pirates hijacked a chemical tanker with dozens of Indian crew members Friday and a helicopter rescued three security guards who had jumped into the sea, officials said.

Greek authorities, meanwhile, said a Greek-owned cargo ship seized by Somali pirates more than two months ago was released Thursday and that all 25 crew members are unharmed. No details were immediately released.

A warship on patrol near Friday’s attack on the chemical tanker sent helicopters to intervene, but they arrived after pirates had taken control of the Liberian-flagged ship, according to Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reporting center in Malaysia.

The international naval patrols were set up to fight increasingly brazen pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia’s coast, a major international shipping lane through which about 20 tankers sail daily. Friday’s was the 97th ship hijacking this year.

–AP

The ship master had sent a distress call to the piracy reporting center, which relayed the alert to international forces policing Somali waters, Choong said. No details about how the pirates attacked or the condition of the crew were available immediately.

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http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,458585,00.html

The Sirius Star anchored off the coast of Somalia on November ... 
The Sirius Star anchored off the coast of Somalia on November 19. Somali pirates dodged an increased foreign naval presence in the Gulf of Aden to seize another ship as the deadline ticked down for a Saudi tanker held to ransom.

IN THE GULF OF ADEN (AFP) – Somali pirates dodged an increased foreign naval presence in the Gulf of Aden to seize another ship on Friday as the deadline ticked down for a Saudi tanker held to ransom.

They also freed a Greek freighter held since September, leaving 17 ships still in their hands despite their shrinking room for manoeuvre as foreign warships stepped up their efforts to contain a scourge threatening world trade.

Five pirates on fishing boats attacked the Biscaglia, a Liberia-flagged oil and chemical tanker, and boarded the vessel with a ladder, the commander of a nearby French frigate, Nivose, told AFP.

Three crew were fished out by a German navy helicopter after they jumped overboard to escape the pirates, said Jean-Marc Le Quilliec. The three rescued crewmen were later brought on board the Nivose.

The French frigate was escorting a Panamanian-flagged Norwegian bulk carrier and had attracted in its wake at least 17 other ships seeking protection but the Liberian tanker had stayed its course.

On Thursday, pirates also freed the Maltese-flagged Greek ship MV Centauri hijacked two months ago in the Indian Ocean, Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarers Association told AFP.

The Centauri, with an all-Filipino crew, was seized on September 18 some 200 miles (320 kilometres) south of Somalia’s lawless capital Mogadishu.

“The ship was freed yesterday along with the crew. It is on its way to Mombasa,” (Kenya’s main port), said Mwangura, adding that it was unclear whether any ransom was paid.

Manila confirmed that all 26 Filipino mariners on the ship were free and a spokesperson for the Navigation Maritime company in Athens said they were all in good health.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081128/wl_africa_afp/
somaliapiracyshipping_081128170718

Piracy Spurs Threats to Shipping Costs

November 19, 2008

The seizure by pirates of a giant Saudi oil tanker far off the coast of Kenya could enlarge the “war risk” zone that already is lifting insurance costs for thousands of ships heading west of Africa, further raising the cost of piracy to world-wide shipping.

More vessels have begun avoiding the direct passage most often attacked by pirates and taking a much longer route around the southern tip of Africa. They’re hoping to pressure governments along the direct route, through the busy Gulf of Aden, to crack down more effectively on piracy or lose revenues from cargo-ship traffic.

By John W. Miller
The Wall Street Journal

But the unprecedented attack disclosed Monday on the MV Sirius Star, carrying $100 million worth of crude hundreds of miles from shore in the Indian Ocean, is undercutting that strategy. It could raise the cost of insurance and crews for ships that take the longer route, which already costs far more in fuel.

The boldness of the attack on the 1,080-foot Sirius Star may prompt insurers to require special “war risk” insurance costing tens of thousands of dollars a day to cover travel across a much greater area of water. It also could spur shippers to hire more onboard security for their vessels, which many have resisted because of costs and the fear of escalating armed conflicts with the pirates.

“This could be a game-changer,” says Peter Hinchliffe, maritime director of the London-based International Chamber of Shipping. “It’s no secret the whole industry is looking into this.”

Governments and shippers have sparred over who should bear responsibility for fending off the pirates, who seized 26 ships in the region during the summer alone and have collected up to $30 million in ransom so far this year, according to the International Maritime Bureau.

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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122701864743437147.html

Pirates seize another ship in Gulf of Aden on Tuesday

November 18, 2008

A Hong Kong cargo ship loaded with 36,000 tonnes of wheat bound for Iran was hijacked on Tuesday by pirates in the Gulf of Aden, near the Yemeni coast.

The latest example of piracy came as a Saudi supertanker, seized by pirates on Monday and laden with an estimated 2m barrels of oil, was confirmed to be anchored off the coast of Somalia.

By Andrew England in Cairo and Robert Wright in London and Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington
FT, London
.
Vela International, owner of the oil tanker called Sirus Star, said on Tuesday that they had established contact with the pirates and were seeking to ensure the safety of the 25-man crew.

The pirates seized control of the tanker on Saturday, 450 nautical miles south-east of the Kenyan Indian Ocean port of Mombasa. The attack marked a significant escalation in the scope of banditry in the region.

It is estimated that the tanker was holding more than a quarter of the daily exports from Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter. The oil would have been worth about $100m (€79m, £66.5m) at Monday’s market price but is probably of little interest to the pirates.

Meanwhile, the official Xinhua agency, citing China’s maritime search and rescue centre, said that a Hong Kong cargo ship called Delight with 25 crew members bound for Bandar Abbas port in Iran had been hijacked in the Gulf of Aden.

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http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e10892ba-b4a8-11dd-b780-0000779fd18c.html