Tanker Pollution Busted by Satellite Images

Officer of the Watch

The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice regarding the tanker pollution conviction after use of satellite imagery as the primary evidence. At a hearing at Truro Magistrates Court, the owner of a tanker paid a total of £22,500 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to a breach of UK maritime pollution legislation.

2013.10.09 - Tanker Pollution Busted by Satellite Images Figure 1

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Nigerian Navy battles pirates in Gulf of Guinea

The Nigerian Navy has killed 12 pirates in a 30-minute gun battle in the Gulf of Guinea. BZ to the Nigerians for what they do. But we can (and should!) do more to help them.

The Nigerian Navy currently boasts a 1970s German frigate, a 1960s US Coast Guard cutter rebadged as frigate, and four 1960s/70s Vosper Thronycroft corvettes. A couple of decommissioned Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates under the Foreign Assistance Act wouldn’t go amiss. Nor would paid off Type 22 frigates that were sold at a pittance for scrap. It is well-and-good for the US, UK, EU and allied partners to provide standing naval forces in the fight against piracy, but regional navies must be brought up to strength with adequate equipment and training in order to truly defeat the scourge.

Nigerian navy says kills 12 pirates in gun battle

(Reuters) – The Nigerian navy killed 12 pirates in a gun battle as they tried to flee from a fuel tanker they hijacked off the coast of the Gulf of Guinea last week, the navy said on Monday.

Pirates took control of the St. Kitts and Nevis-flagged MT Notre on August 15, but an emergency signal was sent to the navy and several gunships were deployed to recover the vessel, Navy Flag Officer Rear Admiral Sidi-Ali Hassan told reporters.

Navy gunships caught up with the vessel and forced it into Nigerian waters but while negotiating the ship’s release, the pirates tried to escape on a speed boat. The navy boats pursued but were fired upon by the hijackers.

“The gun battle lasted for about 30 minutes after which they were overpowered. On taking over the speed boat, four of the militants were alive and unhurt while the rest of the pirates were killed in the crossfire,” Sidi-Ali Hussan said.

The crew were all rescued unharmed from the MT Notre, which was carrying 17,000 metric tons of gasoline, he said.

Pirate attacks off West Africa’s mineral-rich coastline have almost doubled from last year and threaten to jeopardize the shipping of commodities from the region. They have already jacked up insurance costs.

It is rare for the navy to engage pirates in gun battles offshore, as vessels are usually released after being robbed of cargo and valuables. Sometimes crew are kidnapped for ransom.

(Reporting by Tife Owolabi; Writing by Joe Brock; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/19/us-nigeria-piracy-idUSBRE97I0PY20130819

Nigerian pirates release crew of hijacked tanker in Gulf of Guinea

Some good news on the MT Cotton, the Maltese-flagged tanker which was hijacked last week off the coast of Gabon. The crew of 24 has been released. For this, should all be thankful.

However, piracy in the Gulf of Guinea remains an international menace and it is incumbent upon the international community (US, EU, China, Russia… I’m looking at you!) to implement the same counter-piracy measures for West African littoral that have been so successful along the East Africa coast.

Nigerian pirates release 24 crew members, but ransack tanker

MT Cotton.

Twenty-four Indian crew members of MT Cotton, a tanker, which was hijacked by Nigerian pirates off the coast of Gabon, Africa, last week, were released on Monday. The crew, which includes sailors from Mumbai, is expected to reach India in two weeks’ time.

Director-General of Shipping, Gautam Chatterjee said, “MT Cotton was released at 8.30 am IST on Monday. All crew members are safe and no one is in need of immediate medical attention. However, pirates have looted the crew. Right from valuables to food, medicines, even their clothes and footwear were not spared. The pirates also escaped with 3,100 metric tonnes of crude fuel of the total 10,000 metric tonnes in the ship. Presently, the vessel has been instructed by the owners to sail westwards and away from the coast.”

The shipping ministry is unaware of whether a ransom was paid for the crew’s release. “We were really worried since all crew members were Indians. The ship was captained by Shishir Wahi,” said a ministry official.

The tanker – mainly used for ferrying crude petroleum, is owned by a Turkish company, ‘Genel’, and the crew was manned by a company called ‘V Ships’. All crew members have spoken to their respective families, the official said, adding that the sailors were still on the vessel.

The partially-loaded tanker – with a capacity of 23,248 tonnes – was boarded by pirates while awaiting its turn to berth at Gabon’s Gentil Port for the loading of cargo on July 15. Worried officials of the shipping ministry had been trying to establish contact with the tanker for the past three days, according to the vessel operator.

Crew of 2 ships in custody of somali pirates for 2 years

Meanwhile, the shipping ministry said thatseven crew members of the ship Asphalt Venture and a member of the ship Albido continue to be in the custody of Somalian pirates for the past two years. Shipping ministry sources said that a ransom of $3 million had been sought for the release of the crew of Asphalt Venture, while the pirates had demanded $ 0.5 million for the release of the crew member from Albido.

http://www.mumbaimirror.com/mumbai/crime/Nigerian-pirates-release-24-crew-members-but-ransack-tanker/articleshow/21258360.cms