Headlines: Somali Basin – marine retake hijacked vessel, capture pirates; Somali Basin – pirate action group disrupted after it approaches warship; Somali Basin – pirate action group disrupted; Indian Ocean – naval forces pushing pirates further offshore; Vietnam – robbers board chemical tanker; Savannah – regional response exercise; NOAA – Southern Resident killer whale five-year review; California – meeting re use of low sulfur distillate fuel; Washington – ATB escorted to Port Angeles; and Great Barrier Reef – update on grounded bulker.
Note: This blog is one section of the Bryant’s Maritime Consulting website. Visit the site for more extensive maritime regulatory information. Individual concerns may be addressed by retaining Dennis Bryant directly. Much of the highlighted text in this newsletter constitutes links to Internet sites providing more detailed information. Links on this page may be in PDF format, requiring use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Comments on these postings are encouraged and may be made by clicking the envelope that appears at the end of each posting. Be aware that the daily blog entry is a single posting, even though it contains a number of individual items. Good morning, Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at sea (with apologies to the later Walter Winchell).
Somali Basin – marines retake hijacked vessel, capture pirates
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that pirates hijacked a container ship in the Somali Basin while it was en route from Djibouti to Mombasa. The ship’s crew alerted the naval authorities, disabled the engine, and retreated to a safe room. When negotiations between the naval forces and the pirates proved unsuccessful, marines were place on the container ship. They quickly captured the ten pirates and freed the 13 crewmembers. (4/5/10).
Somali Basin – pirate action group disrupted after it approaches warship
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that a suspected pirate action group (PAG) was disrupted after it made a high-speed approach on a warship. When the two attack skiffs closed to a distance of three nautical miles, the warship fired two bursts of heavy machine gun warning shots. The attack skiffs reversed course and headed back to the mother skiff, while throwing paraphernalia overboard. The warship’s boarding party found twelve suspected pirates and a large quantity of gasoline on the mother skiff, which was subsequently destroyed. (4/3/10).
Somali Basin – pirate action group disrupted
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that one of its warships intercepted a suspected pirate action group in the Somali Basin approximately 270 miles east of Mogadishu. A boarding party detained seven suspected pirates after it found small arms, a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), and ladders on the two skiffs. (4/5/10).
Indian Ocean – naval forces pushing pirates further offshore
The US Navy issued a news release stating that counter-piracy efforts of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), the European Union (EU), and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), working with various other naval forces, and increased adoption of best management practices by commercial shipping have pushed the Somali pirates ever further offshore. As a result, the pirates are finding it more difficult to mount attacks and their success rate remains low. Masters are encouraged to be vigilant as pirates become more desperate. (4/5/10).
Vietnam – robbers board chemical tanker
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued an Incident Alert stating that three robbers, armed with knives, boarded a chemical tanker berthed at a palm oil jetty in the Mekong River delta. They stole three tins of paint. The Second Officer sounded the alarm. The Second Officer was briefly held hostage and was slightly injured as the robbers escaped, taking his walkie-talkie. This is the fourth robbery incident in Vietnamese waters since January 2010. Masters are advised to maintain vigilance. (4/3/10).
Savannah – regional response exercise
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that, on Tuesday, April 6 through Thursday, April 8, it and ConocoPhillips will host a regional emergency response exercise, PREP Exercise 2010, in Savannah. The federal, state, and local agencies and private sector participants will practice responding to spills of oil and hazardous substances into waterways. (4/5/10).
NOAA – Southern Resident killer whale five-year review
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a notice stating that it has commenced a five-year review of Southern Resident killer whales under the Endangered Species Act. The Southern Resident killer whales are found most frequently in Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Comments should be submitted by July 6. 75 Fed. Reg. 17377 (April 6, 2010).
California – meeting re use of low sulfur distillate fuels
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) issued a notice stating that the Maritime Air Quality Technical Working Group (MWG) will host a public meeting in Oakland on April 28 to discuss experience with use of low sulfur distillate fuels in ocean-going vessels due to California’s clean fuel requirements. (4/1/10).
Washington – ATB escorted to Port Angeles
The Washington State Department of Ecology issued a news release stating that its emergency response tug is escorting an articulated tug and barge (ATB) from the mouth of the Columbia River to Port Angeles for repairs. The ATB had been waiting off the Columbia River bar for weather to abate so that it could go to Astoria for repairs. The weather worsened and it was decided to go to Port Angeles instead. (4/5/10).
Great Barrier Reef – update on grounded bulker
Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) issued a media release stating that salvors are on board the coal carrier that grounded on the Great Barrier Reef. They will assess the damage and options for refloating. Initial damage reports indicate that the main engine room is breached and the main engine and the rudder have incurred damage. The ship is still moving on the reef due to the action of the seas. Current efforts are focused on stabilizing the ship and responding to the oil spill. (4/5/10).
If you have questions regarding the above items, please contact the editor:
Dennis L. Bryant
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting
4845 SW 91st Way
Gainesville, FL 32608-8135
© Dennis L. Bryant – March 2010