Latest Piracy and Threats to Shipping Report – March 4, 2008
The Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) and the ICC Commercial Crime Services released their latest Maritime Safety Information on February 27 and March 3, 2008. The following maritime security incidents took place between February 26 and March 3, 2008.
Nigeria, February 27, 2008: A Tug was hijacked between 1300 and 1400 local time, Bakana River off the coast of Port Harcourt. The owner of the vessel was alerted by its crew who then immediately sent out a distress call to Naval personnel resulting in a duel with the suspected hijackers and the Nigerian Navy (NN). The NN killed two hijackers, arrested one and at least one other hijacker escaped as he jumped into Bakana Rivers during the gun battle. The arrested individual’s name is Samuel Jekinson, who stated that he was only contacted by a group of youths to ferry them to the vessels before the Navy arrested him. He claims he was only a speedboat driver and not a hijacker and claimed that his father was a traditional ruler in his community. He also admitted that he was caught with a rifle. The tug and its barge were carrying over 400,000 metric tons of diesel. Both were recovered with cargo intact and crewmembers safe.
Yemen (Socotra Island), February 27, 2008: A suspicious boat approached a yacht, sailing with two other yachts. The yachts downed their sails and used their engines to increase speed. The suspicious boat with about 16 people on board approached closer and offered fish in exchange for cigarettes but the yacht crew asked them to move away. The boat chased the yachts for about 15 minutes before moving away.
Somalia, March 2, 2008: An orange painted dhow with white stanchions, while drifting, called up a vessel five nautical miles away requesting them to stop because they had no food or water and they had 25 persons on board. As the vessel altered course, the master noticed that the dhow had increased speed and was heading directly for them. Seeing this, the master suspected an attempted attack, altered course, and headed away form the dhow. The vessel and the dhow were both doing around 7 knots and after around 3.5 hours, the dhow altered towards Socotra Island. The same dhow returned to its original position and was later heard calling another vessel to stop.
Mozambique, March 2, 2008: Robbers in three boats boarded a tanker at Nacala Bay anchorage. They were in the process of lowering ship’s stores when duty crew spotted the robbers. Alarm raised and crew mustered. Robbers jumped overboard and escaped. Port control informed.