Maritime Incidents--September 3, 2009

Maritime incidents from around the world

Abkhazia Threatens to Attack Georgian Ships
Abkhazia president gave orders to navy forces to destroy Georgian ships if piracy continues

The rebel Republic of Abkhazia has declared to destroy Georgian vessels that breach the maritime border and enter the region's waters. Abkhazia president, Sergi Bagapsh, reported to Russian media that he instructed naval forces to destroy Georgian ships and open fire if they continue acts of piracy.

Last month Georgia seized a gasoline and diesel tanker heading to Abkhazia from Turkey. The ship's captain was jailed and now facing 24 years in prison for attempting to deliver the fuel to Abkhazia.

Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman said Tbilisi would hold Russia responsible if any attacks occur. He said they do not recognize Abkhazia's navy exists nor their territorial waters.

The dispute will be on the agenda during the security talks between Georgian and Abkhaz officials in Ghali on September 8.

Sailors Trapped on Ship, Finally Rescued
Ship sinks with 18 aboard, after five hours the crew are rescued.

The 18-member crew of Hodasco 15 was rescued off Pulau Perak after being stranded in open water for over five hours. The ship started to sink 10 nautical miles west of the island after springing a leak in the engine compartment.

The ship was registered in Mongolia and carrying iron ore from Calcutta to China.

Maritime 3 district logistics director reported the crew were in their sinking ship for five hours before another vessel passed by. The vessel MV Boron was en route to Syria from India when it rescued the crew. After MV Boron sent out distress signals to Putrajaya, Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency boats carried the crew members to the Kampung Acheh jetty.

UAE Seized Ship Carrying North Korean Arms
North Korean arms en route to Iran are seized by U.A.E

Cargo, of North Korean weapons, was seized by the United Arab Emirates two weeks ago that was heading to Iran.

The illicit cargo was in violation of a U.N embargo on arms exports from the communist state.
Rocket launchers, detonators, munitions and ammunition for rocket-propelled grenades were all found on the ship, ANL-Australia. The concealed cargo was labeled in the manifest as oil boring machines, a diplomat said. U.A.E reported the incident to the Security Council sanctions committee in North Korea.

Diplomats reported both North Korea and Iran appeared to be in breach of Security Council resolution 1874, which banned exports from North Korea and provides authorization to search and seize suspicious ships and destroy contraband.

Diplomats hope this particular seizure will act as a deterrent of further attempts at bypassing sanctions.