INDIAN OCEAN: On 6 November, a merchant vessel reported a pirate attack near position 05:40 S – 046:59 E, approximately 450 nm east-southeast of Mombasa, Kenya. The ship reported being attacked by five heavily armed pirates in one skiff, with the pirates reportedly exchanging gunfire with the ship’s embarked security team. The alarm was raised as the attack started, and the ship increased speed, activated the fire pumps, and started evasive maneuvers. The pirates reportedly moved away from the ship after the embarked security team returned gunfire.
INDIAN OCEAN: On 5 November, FGS NIEDERSACHSEN interdicted a pirate attack off Somalia. The PAG reportedly consisted of one whaler and skiff. There
were ten suspected pirates sighted in the boats along with numerous large fuel barrels. Upon closer surveillance, personnel in the boats were reportedly seen throwing two long ladders overboard before heading back to the beach.
INDONESIA: On 4 November, an anchored chemical tanker experienced an attempted boarding near position 03:54 N – 098:46 E, Belawan Anchorage. Duty crew spotted one boat with robbers attempting to board the tanker via anchor chain but alert crew thwarted the boarding. A second boat was hidden near the propeller and the crew could not chase them away with fire hoses. The propeller was turned on resulting in the robbers moving away. The robbers were spotted with some stolen hull anodes in their boat. Port Control informed of the incident.
INDIA: On 2 November, an anchored container ship experienced a boarding near position 21:40 N – 088:01 E, Sagar Anchorage. 15 armed robbers boarded the ship and were spotted by ship’s duty officer, who raised the alarm. The robbers were stealing ship’s stores and jumped overboard when the alarm was raised.
Source: United States Navy, Office of Naval Intelligence.
HMAS Melbourne (FFG 05) is an Adelaide-class frigate commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy in 1992. She is currently deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations as part of Operation Slipper, Australia’s contribution to maritime security operations in the region.
HMAS Melbourne apprehends alleged pirates
HMAS Melbourne’s boarding party intercepts a suspected pirate boat.
Royal Australian Navy ship, HMAS Melbourne, has intercepted suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia as part of maritime security patrols in Middle Eastern waters for Operation SLIPPER.
The suspected pirates were intercepted on 15 October 2013 after the Combined Maritime Forces received two reports of attempted acts of piracy against two separate merchant vessels during the previous four days.
Under the direction of Combined Task Force 151 (CTF151), HMAS Melbourne was appointed as on-scene commander for a multi-national search operation, involving ships and aircraft from the Combined Maritime Forces and European Union Naval Forces to locate and intercept the suspected pirates.
With the assistance of other CTF 151 assets, HMAS Melbourne successfully located the suspected pirate vessels.
HMAS Melbourne closes on a suspected pirate vessel in the Arabian Sea.
HMAS Melbourne‘s highly trained boarding team made the final approach to board and search the skiffs successfully apprehending the nine pirates.
Commander Brian Schlegel, Commanding Officer HMAS Melbourne said that the Ship’s Company knew what to do and was well trained to ensure a positive outcome.
“Melbourne’s success in disrupting piracy activity in the region re-affirms the importance of Australia’s ongoing commitment to Combined Maritime Forces,” Commander Schlegel said.
“Melbourne’s Ship’s Company have worked tirelessly to contribute to a successful outcome for both Combined Maritime Forces and for the wider Maritime Community.”
HMAS Melbourne’s boarding party provided information about various items located onboard the two vessels that could be used in piracy attacks.
In accordance with the Combined Maritime Forces direction, the pirates were embarked in HMAS Melbourne and the skiffs and associated pirate equipment was destroyed.
HMAS Melbourne is currently returning the suspected pirates to Somalia.
The quick, co-ordinated and decisive response to threats in the maritime environment highlights the importance of the continued presence of multi-national forces in the Middle East region.
HMAS Melbourne is the 56th rotation to the Middle East Area of Operations since the 1991 Gulf War and the 32nd rotation since 2001.
She is employed by the Combined Maritime Forces under the Tactical Control of CTF151 who is responsible for counter piracy operations within the Middle East Area of Operations.
Attempted Boarding by Somali Pirates
On 11 October at 0918 UTC, pirates in two skiffs fired upon the tanker Island Splendor and attempted a boarding approx. 237 nautical miles east of Hobyo, Somalia. The armed security team aboard the tanker fired flares and warning shots, whereupon the pirates returned fire with an automatic weapons. The security team engaged the pirates which resulted in the skiffs aborting the attack. BZ onboard security!
Hijack of Oil Tanker by Malay Pirates
On 10 October at 0530 local time, nine hijackers wearing masks and carrying weapons boarded the oil tanker Danai 4 while underway 20 nautical miles southeast of Pulau Aur, Malaysia. The hijackers took the crew hostage, destroyed all the communications equipment, and held the vessel until 15 October. They disembarked taking cargo (marine gas oil), cash and personal belongings. Thankfully no injuries reported.
Hijack of Bulk Carrier by Indonesian Pirates
On 10 October at 0315 local time, five hijackers boarded the bulk carrier Port Hainan at anchor at Muara Berau, Indonesia. The hijackers held one crew member hostage while they broke into storage and stole ship’s stores. The officer of the watch sounded the alarm and the crew mustered on the forecastle. After the hijackers saw the alerted crew, they left the ship and escaped. BZ to crew for swift action!
Source: US Navy Office of Naval Intelligence Marine OPINTEL Report