A round up of piracy and robbery at sea incidents occurring during October 2012. In total, 25 incidents were reported.
West Africa grabbed the piracy front pages in October. Hijack for oil cargo is one aspect, but October saw the kidnap of seven expats on a supply ship, although the remaining nine Nigerian crew were left alone.
Asia saw a repeat of the September figures in the amount of incidents with 15 in total and one suspect incident to add to the count. East Africa continued to see low activity, but did include a hijacking that was later rescued. South America, as occurred in September, had a single incident.
A fishing vessel was hijacked only 2 nautical miles off the Somali coast in October as suspected pirates began to be reported sighted as far North off the Iranian coast and far down to the south in the Mozambique Channel and even east of Madagascar.
Naval forces were able to disrupt PAGs, including the hijacked fishing vessel.
Attacks aimed at the theft of oil cargo continued to be the main danger in the Gulf of Guinea. As the Nigerian Navy increased presence in the region, hijacks have occurred off Togo, and for the first time, the Ivory Coast.
The kidnap of seven expats from supply ship Bourbon Liberty 249 southwest of Brass, Nigeria, whilst leaving the Nigerian nationals to sail to a safe port, is a change to the usual methodology. Hopefully, this is not a newer trend.
In Asia, 15 incidents again took place with another hijack, but with a difference. MT Arowana United was due to bunker a vessel but was hijacked whilst at Labuan anchorage in Malaysia. The pirates stole the 650,000 litre of fuel cargo, robbed the eight crew, inflicting minor injuries, and vandalised navigation equipment to avoid being located. The vessel and crew were recovered two weeks later.
The theft of fuel cargo, also seen during September, is along similar lines to that of West African piracy. South America saw one robbery incident in Cartagena, Colombia.
HoA/IOR – 3 Incidents
W Africa – 6 Incidents
Asia – 15 Incidents
S America – 1 Incident