Double Piracy Scare

Two tankers have been targeted by suspected pirates in as many days off the coast of Somalia, it has emerged.

The first incident involved an unnamed chemical tanker underway at high speed being approached on 23 March in the Red Sea.

Five skiffs each with three persons aboard are said to have approached the ship in position 13° 18’N, 042° 52’E at 06:30 local time. The ship’s master raised the alarm after which fire pumps were activated and the on board armed security team took up positions.

Unconfirmed reports say ladders were noticed in two skiffs as they closed to a distance of 1nm from the tanker. The security team are said to have immediately fired one rocket flare towards the skiffs and showed their weapons resulting in the skiffs aborting their approach.

Three days later the master of an oil tanker reported being pursued by six skiffs in position 13° 18’N, 042° 57’E at around 13:23 local time. Reports say the skiffs, with an undetermined number of personnel onboard, came within 1.8 nautical miles of the ship before abandoning their approach.

Security officials said they recommend vessels within the vicinity of this alert operate with a heightened level of security and report any suspicious activity.

For more maritime news see Tradewinds

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