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January 27, 2006

Another pirate attack off Somalia

Though the U.S. Navy has detained one suspected pirate vessel off Somalia, other pirates remain active in the area.

Today, the International Maritime Bureau issued a report that at 0645 LT in position 11:55.0N - 051:19.0E, off Cape Guardafui, Somalia, five pirates armed with machine guns and rocket launchers in a speedboat fired upon a bulk carrier underway.

The master took evasive maneuvers and activated the SSAS and the crew mustered and started fire hoses.

The pirates continued firing causing damage to bridge windows and accommodation. They restocked ammunition from a nearby wooden fishing boat and resumed firing. Another black steel hulled fishing boat came close and also fired at the ship.

A coalition warship responded to the alert and at 0740 LT a helicopter arrived and pirates ceased firing.

At 0810 LT a coalition warship arrived at the scene.

The International Maritime Bureau says this is the 37th serious attack in this area in last 10 months.

Ships are once again advised to keep at least 200 nm miles from north-eastern and eastern coast of Somalia.