PIRACY UPDATE: Jamaicas Anti-Piracy Campaign, EUNAVFOR Destroys Suspects, Japan Tanker Attacked, Cargo Ship Robbed

By MarEx 2012-11-19 14:48:00

EU NAVFOR warship FGS KÖLN destroys suspect whaler

On September 29 the EU NAVFOR warship FGS KÖLN located and destroyed a suspicious whaler close to a beach off Somalia, 100 nautical miles SW of Mogadishu. 

A helicopter was dispatched to inspect and found the whaler loaded with equipment usually related to piracy on board.

No crew was seen on board. Consequently, the whaler was destroyed to prevent any potential future use for piracy.

This action continues EU NAVFOR’s robust stance against piracy and the intention to interdict and disrupt pirate activity.

Japanese Chemical Tanker Attacked In Red Sea

On Wednesday near Yemen in the Red Sea, a Japanese chemical tanker was caught under fire from a rocket-propelled grenade launched from a small boat.

The tanker, Ginga Bobcat, was hit by the rocket-propelled grenade, leaving a 10-cm hole in the bridge of the vessel.  None of the 24 Bangladeshi crewmembers were injured in the attack, and the ship remains operational.  The ship was carrying phosphoric acid to India from Europe.

A transport ministry official told the Wall Street Journal that 45 minutes before the Ginga Bobcat was attacked, another Tokyo Marine tanker in the Red Sea was also pursued by a small boat, but remained unscathed. 

The Ginga Bobcat is owned by Tokyo Marine Co, a subsidiary of Misui O.S.K. Lines Ltd.

West African Pirates Rob Cargo Ship

The International Maritime Bureau confirms that on Thursday a cargo ship was raided and robbed while anchored off the coast of Guinea, West Africa. 

IMB said that the pirates were armed with guns and knives, and assaulted the crewmembers in a 45-minute long attack.  They reported that the pirates escaped with cash and cargo from the vessel, and that port authorities never responded to distress calls from the ship. 

Jamaica Adds Its Voice to Campaign Against Piracy

The Maritime Authority of Jamaica, and other key players in the country's shipping industry, have spoken out in support of the need for more effective international measures to tackle piracy and added its voice to calls for greater resources to rid the high seas of this increasing threat.

Speaking at a high profile luncheon in Kingston to mark World Maritime Day (September 29th 2011), MAJ Director General Rear, Admiral Peter Brady, said:
"We join the rest of the world in solidarity towards ridding international shipping of piracy."

Jamaica has not escaped the effects of piracy. As a Flag State (through the Jamaica Ship Registry) it regularly has vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden carrying bulk and other cargoes. Last year the Jamaican-flagged bulk carrier Miltiades was attacked 130 miles off the coast of Yemen by several pirates carrying AK-47 weapons who had approached the vessel from a skiff. MAJ Legal Director Bertrand Smith reported: "The quick action of the Master and crew was able to repel the attack with no injuries or deaths."

In addition Jamaica is an important crew supply nation working with the Caribbean Maritime Institute to provide quality training of Masters, Chief Engineers and other marine officers. Earlier this year two Jamaican seafarers were assaulted by criminals who boarded their vessel off the coast of Benin. Mr Smith said: "The growth of the CMI has resulted in many young Jamaican women and men gainfully employed in internationally trading ships, some of which transit the Gulf of Aden and other high risk areas."

In fact one CMI graduate, who recently transited the Indian Ocean, told the
MAJ: "Piracy is one of my biggest fears. I hear too many stories about hijacking and kidnapping for months and that hurts my head when I think about it."

Rear Admiral Brady  said: "We have just cause to join the IMO and the international shipping community in the call for measures to protect international trade by sea. Jamaica supports the various recommendations and guidance developed by the IMO in conjunction with its partners in the international shipping community in an effort to prepare ships' crews to counter the attacks by pirates. At the same time we laud the efforts of the IMO to develop public awareness to the scourge of piracy, while encouraging countries most equipped to assist by lending their resources to counter piracy."