Monthly Archives: August 2014

Our Security Agencies Are Doing Well-Rear Admiral Tahiru

Board Chairman of PSC Tema Shipyard Rear Admiral Mohammed Munir Tahiru says Ghana’s Navy and other security agencies are doing marvelously well with regards to ensuring the safety of the country’s territorial waters, but has also warned that they must not be complacent and rest on their laurels. Continue reading

UPDATED: Pirate attack on tanker off Nigeria: A real ‘game changer’?

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

When I wrote this post yesterday, I did one very deliberate thing. I used an expression which has been thrown about a lot in the last couple of weeks. The expression was “game changer”. I wanted to see what the reaction would be like to the use of such an emotive phrase, particularly by using it needlessly in the post header.

I have not been disappointed.

That a small WordPress blog could annoy so many respected intelligence experts has both amused me and proven a valuable point; this is a small, inconsequential blog about maritime crime and piracy, put together on a budget of zero. There are other entities out there with significant budgets and large numbers of staff, throwing expressions around and gaining media attention.

Just as one swallow does not make a summer, nor does one incident suggest a trend or significant change in M.O. by the wider criminal/pirate community. That will require several more incidents using similar tactics.

Continue reading

Pirates hijack tanker number 10 in South East Asia

Following up on media reports earlier this morning, ReCAAP has released a report concerning what appears to be the 10th hijacking of a tanker in South East Asia since April this year. The V.L. 14 was around 30nm North of Pulau Tioman carrying 1,296 tonnes of lube oil when six pirates armed with guns came alongside her and boarded yesterday, August 28th, at around 2040 LT. Continue reading

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