Cargo vessel pirated less than 40 miles from Omani coast

The latest vessel to be hijacked by pirates is  the 3,642 gt general cargo ship MV SUSAN K, managed by  Nimmrich & Prahm Bereederung of Leer, Ostfriesland. EU Navfor says it was pirated in the early hours of April 8 when approximately 200 nautical miles Northeast of Salalah, Oman; a location only 35 nautical miles from the Omani coastline.

The vessel was attacked and boarded by at least 10 pirates although exact details of the attack are not known at this time, says EU Navfor which reports that the Antigua & Barbuda flagged and German owned vessel was on its way to Port Sudan from Mumbai (India) when it was attacked.  It  was registered with MSC(HOA) and was reporting to UKMTO. 

EU Navfor says it is continuing to monitor the situation.

NATO says that this pirating of a cargo vessel in the Arabian Sea close to the Omani territorial waters supports the present assessment of at least three active pirate action groups (PAGs) in this area. NATO's assessment of the number of dhow PAGs operating central AS is two dhows and one unknown PAG. This is a minimum figure and there remains the possibility that other dhows have got underway from pirate anchorages and are now also in the area.

The fishing vessel JIH CHUN TSAI 68 is still missing and may also be active in the Arabian Sea/ Somali Basin.

NATO says that although there has been a low level of activity and recent disruptions by counter piracy forces in the southern Somali Basin, at least one whaler PAG is assessed to be active, possibly along the Kenyan/ Tanzanian coast towards the Mosambique Channel. It is assessed that there also may be single skiffs in this area without a parent mothership.

April 8, 2011