Armed guards open fire, pirates back off

pirateflagGAC Protective Solutions says that a maritime security alert has been issued after an aborted pirate attack was reported around 500 NM east of Socotra on September 29, 2011.

The vessel, a chemical tanker, came under small arms fire from armed men aboard a skiff at around 1215 local time. The skiff retreated after warning shots were fired by the tanker's onboard security detachment.

The International Maritime Bureau reports: "Armed pirates in a skiff approached a chemical tanker underway. Master sounded alarm, crew alerted and took evasive maneuvers. The armed security onboard first showed their weapons but as the skiffs continued to approach the armed team fired a warning shots. The pirates fired back before aborting the attack."

GAC Protective Solutions warns that the presence of a skiff so far out in the Arabian Sea indicates an improvement of weather conditions as the monsoon subsides and could mark the start of piracy operations returning to the wider Indian Ocean. Vessel operators in the area are advised that an increase in piracy attacks is forecast over the coming weeks and should ensure watch rotas and security measures are in place to reduce the risk of a successful attack.

September 30, 2011

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