Digital pirates and the growing threat of cyber-attacks to shipping

By Charlie Bartlett from London

In a world where young men are willing to pounce on VLCCs using only guts, wooden boats and rusty Kalashnikovs, the threat to shipping and maritime may now also be coming in a much more subtle manner from the computer hacker. Continue reading

Today’s Value of Anti-Piracy Measures

Two recent attacks in the Gulf of Guinea have highlighted the value of prepared crews and the correct implementation of anti-piracy measures. Last night pirates attacked a laden product tanker while it was en route to Port Harcourt in Nigeria and, on 9 August, a tanker was attacked 200 NM south of Lagos. In both cases, the crew prevented the boarding by effective anti-piracy measures. The most recent incident off Brass, Nigeria, also highlighted the value of good communication. The Master of the vessel issued a timely alert on VHF and GMDSS. This was relayed to MTISC GoG, retransmitted by adjacent vessels and when it reached Dryad, we quickly passed on the information to the IMB PRC, who subsequently contacted authorities and issued an alert. AIS analysis shows that Nigerian naval vessels were operating within 30 nautical miles of the incident and, although not required in the case, could have been on the scene quickly to assist. Continue reading

Fiji police conclude high seas probe

Fiji police say they have concluded their investigation into a video which surfaced in Fiji last week showing men being shot from vessels on the high seas. Continue reading

OP/ED: The State of Piracy

Piracy’s gone away, right? You’d be forgiven for thinking that.

The predominant narrative for the Indian Ocean is that Piracy has been suppressed to an extent that ship-owners are requesting fewer guards, even unarmed in some cases. Certainly private security team composition has adjusted beneath the “rule of four” and the nationality of guards has shifted significantly away from the UK only model. But given the recent attacks in South East Asia and the prevailing amount of maritime crime and piracy off the Gulf of Guinea, Piracy hasn’t been eradicated at all; it’s simply evolved and will continue to change as it has done for hundreds of years presenting a threat to global maritime trade. Continue reading

US Navy Ship Fires Warning Shot at Armed Iranian Dhow in Volatile Persian Gulf

By Vasudevan Sridharan

An American navy vessel fired a warning shot towards an armedIranian fishing vessel during a brief encounter in the volatile Persian Gulf, said the US Coast Guard. Continue reading

Piracy is a symptom of Somalia chaos

Piracy has fallen out of the headlines recently as the number of attempted hijackings has dropped. Back in 2009 and 2010, there were incidents weekly or even daily. Now, as The National’s report yesterday pointed out, there have been only a handful of attempts this year. Continue reading

Pirates attacks will resume if ship owners let their guard down, warn former hostages

DUBAI // Somali pirates would strike again as soon as alert levels decline, as they believe ship owners would eventually scale back their defences, said a former hostage held captive by the pirates for four years. Continue reading