Incident: Barakaale 1 attacked

The Tanzanian-flagged ship Barakaale 1 is attacked in the Gulf of Aden.
...the Master in alerting vessels in the region by bridge-to-bridge radio communication enabled ships from CTF 151 to come to its aid.

A SH-60B Seahawk helicopter, from USS Farragut, was immediately dispatched to the MV Barakaale and subsequently gave chase to the skiff which withdrew its attack.

During the pirate attack on the MV Barakaale 1, the crew adopted defensive maneuvers which resulted in a suspected pirate falling overboard whilst attempting to board the vessel. The skiff rescued their accomplice and attempted to board MV Barakaale a second time, but they were again unsuccessful.

The helicopter intervened and the skiff attempted to speed away. After repeated warnings to the skiff, warning shots were fired by the helicopter across the bow of the skiff, which resulted in its coming to a stop. A boarding team from USS Farragut boarded the vessel and the eight suspected pirates were taken aboard the Farragut. The quick action by CTF 151 and the crew of the Barakaale prevented a successful pirate attack from occurring.
(Press release CMF014-10, 02/22/10)

Incident: EU sinks mothership

Two skiffs launched from a mothership attack a French vessel (not otherwise identified) triggering an EU rescue effort.
An EU Naval Force helicopter tracked the pirates and watched them throw a rocket launcher, grappling hooks and fuel barrels into the ocean. The naval force said it destroyed the mothership and one skiff and took 11 pirates into custody.
No location for the incident was given. (AP, 03/05/10)

Incident: Pirates sunk after clash with military

A pirate skiff with six aboard was sunk by ramming after making two attacks today. The skiff broke off an attack on a vessel (not otherwise identified) to give chase to the French fishing vessel Torre Giulia.
A French military detachment onboard a nearby ship fired warning shots at the pirates. The ship then approached the skiff and collided with it, sinking the skiff and throwing the pirates into the water. Four were rescued, but two others were missing.
(AP, 03/05/10)

Action: EU "taking fight to pirates"?

The spokesman for the EU naval forces says "We know the monsoon is over. We know they're coming. We're taking the fight to the pirates." Commander John Harbour made the statement in connection with a recent attack on a French fishing vessel that was met with return fire and the ramming of the pirate skiff. (AP, 03/05/10)

Action: Somali president denounces ransoms

Somali President Sheikh Shariff Ahmed denounced ransoms paid to pirates in a press conference today. He called them "destabilizing". “The solution is not deploying hundreds of war ships on the surface of the Somali waters, but to boost the institutions of the Somali government” he said. (Somali News, 03/05/10)


Incident: Pirates battle security force

A Spanish fishing vessel, not otherwise identified, is attacked by pirates firing rocket propelled grenades. An on-board security force of private contractors returned fire, apparently driving off the attackers. There were no reported injuries and the location of the clash was not disclosed. (AP, 03/05/10)

An EU NAVFOR press release offers further details:
...earlier this morning, 4 March, the 2,100 tonnes Spanish Fishing Vessel Albacan was attacked by pirates in the Indian Ocean.

The Albacan, owned by Albacora, and registered in Cadiz, was fishing half way between the Seychelles and the Kenyan coast (Mombasa) when it was approached by two pirate skiffs. The skiffs had pirates onboard with weapons clearly visible and Albacan took evasive action. After a short while one of the skiffs made a close approach and fired a rocket propelled grenade that exploded on the deck of the fishing vessel. The explosion caused a small fire that has now been extinguished. All crewmembers are unharmed.

The Albacan is carrying Vessel Protection Detachment (private security armed guards) who fired shots over the heads of the pirate skiff and they were able to repel the attack and the pirates have now left the scene.
(EUNAVFOR PAO, 04/04/10)


Incident: Nisr Al Saudi taken

The Saudi tanker Nisr Al Saudi is taken in the Gulf of Aden by Somali pirates. The tanker was empty at the time. A statement issued by EUNAVFOR says
The ship was heading to Jedda and has a crew of 14. The master of the ship is Greek and the nationality of the rest of the crew has not been confirmed. They are all believed to be well. The ship was outside the Internationally Recognised Transit Corridor and was not registered on MSCHOA. The vessel is now in the vicinity of Garacad, a well know pirate stronghold.
(World Tribune, 02/04/10)The ship's owner, International Bunkering Company Ltd. (IBCO) "is working with its insurer, the Saudi IACI Cooperative Insurance Company (SALAMA), to facilitate negotiations with the pirates." The government of Sri Lanka has conveyed its concern about 13 of its nationals held hostage on the ship. (Arab News, 03/05/10)

Incident: Pirates hijack trucks

Somali pirates operating in Puntland have seized three large trucks loaded with food supplies and driven them to Eyl where trucks, cargo, and drivers are held for ransom. The trucks were apparently associated with the UN's World Food Program when taken. "Community members are holding five other trucks that were part of the same aid convoy. It is not clear what they want." The date of the incident was not given. (New York Times, 03/01/10)


Incident: Absalon destroys mothership

NATO's operation Ocean Shield flagship, HDMS ABSALON, has sought out and destroyed a Somali pirate mother ship off the Somali coast (location not disclosed). From AOL and the press release:
On Sunday 28 February 2010 the NATO flagship HDMS ABSALON undertook direct action to disrupt the piracy in the Somali Basin by scuttling a pirate mother skiff, one of the large, open boats that pirates use to transport and support their attack teams to offshore hunting areas. The ABSALON is the flagship of NATO’s current counter-piracy operation Ocean Shield off the Horn of Africa. The mother skiff was scuttled by use of specialist teams from ABSALON after it was intercepted by ABSALON’s boarding team. It had been located earlier in the day having just left a well known pirate camp located on the eastern Somali coastline, fully loaded with pirate equipment and supplies.

“This was a very well executed operation,” said CDRE Christian Rune. “Disrupting the pirates’ capability just off their main pirate camps sends a strong signal to the pirates that NATO and the international community do not tolerate their actions. Disposing of their vessels before they can head to sea hits the pirates before they can present a threat to merchant shipping,” said CDRE Rune."
(AOL News, 03/02/10)

Incident: Navios Appollon released

Pirates have released the Navios Appollon and its crew, a bulk carrier taken off the Seychelles two months ago. "The Navios Apollon was released yesterday evening. The ship is now sailing to Oman and its final destination is India. They [crew] are all well and safe," said a Greek official. One Greek and 18 Filipinos manned the ship when taken. An unspecified ransom was paid. (Reuters, 02/28/10)


Incident: Pramoni released

The Singapore-flagged ship Pramoni has been released along with its crew of 24 after payment of an undisclosed ransom. Pramoni was taken on New Year's Day. (Reuters, 02/26/10)Described as "Indonesisan," Pramoni is reported to have been ransomed for $7.5 million. (AFP, 02/26/10)


Incident: APL Finland menaced

The APL Finland is menaced in the Gulf of Aden by a suspicious approach.
The Master of MV Apl Finland raised the alert by bridge-to-bridge communication to alert other ships of the suspicious vessel.

CTF 151 Turkish warship Gemlik received the warning and closed in to investigate the suspicious skiff.

Seven suspected pirates, one ladder and fuel barrels were observed on board the skiff which was equipped with two outboard motors. During the chase by TCS Gemlik, it was observed that the suspected pirates were throwing items overboard, including a ladder. After a series of maneuvers and warnings the skiff came to a halt and the vessel was boarded by a team from Gemlik.

Although no piracy-related material was found on board the skiff, the quick action by Gemlik prevented an attack from occurring. Twenty three fuel barrels were found on board. One of the two outboard motors was dismantled. The skiff was subsequently released and instructed to head back to the Somali Coast.
(Press release CMF015-10, 02/22/10)

APL Finland is a 320 m long cargo ship. Registration and ownership not disclosed. (vesseltracker.com)


Action: Maran Centauras released

The Greece-registered Maran Centaurus is released by pirates after what is called a record-breaking ransom estimated at $5.5-$7 million. The ship had been taken 11/29/09with 28 crew aboard.
A dispute between two rival pirate groups over the spoils had delayed its release.

Ecoterra International, a Nairobi-based group that monitors shipping off Somalia, said two pirates had been killed in a gun battle with a rival gang as they returned to shore.

"The stash of the record-breaking ransom ... is reportedly now held in a heavily guarded house in Haradheere," it said, adding that the pirate-run port was now very tense because the sharing of the funds had not yet taken place.
(Reuters, 01/18/10)