Merchant vessels more and more self-effective in countermeasuresJune 1, 2009 - 16:18
Countermeasures against acts of piracy taken by merchant vessels sailing the Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin and facing the piracy threat in these areas, are becoming more and more effective.
During the last week-end 3 attacks were registered, all of them unsuccessful due to counteraction carried out by the ship’s crews.
On Sunday early morning a British 115.000 tons tanker flying the flag of the Isle of Man was attacked by one skiff right in the middle of the Transit Corridor. The eastbound ship was registered with the MSCHOA and reported immediately, while conducting countermeasures like evasive steering, which successfully avoided the ship being entered.
Also on Sunday in the later morning a Japanese chemical tanker sailing under the flag of the Philippines was attacked in the very southern part of the Red Sea. This attack for the first time happened inside the Red Sea and it was carried out by two skiffs.
This morning also very early a Greece owned and Liberian flagged eastbound 143.000 tons tanker also was attacked by a single skiff and reacted with evasive steering and additionally by using high pressure fire hoses, which made the pirates abandon their attack.
In all cases the attackers fired at the merchant vessels with small automatic arms, however in all cases no casualties and no damages were seen. All ships continued their journeys safely. The crews were aware of the threat, were on guard, reported the attacks and conducted self-protecting countermeasures immediately. No warships needed to get involved directly.
The interesting thing is the attack inside the Red Sea. Last week Yemeni sources reported a fishing boat being sunk by a missile fired from a foreign warship in the Red Sea inside Yemeni territorial waters. No pirate attacks had been seen in the Red Sea and so none of all the international warships fighting piracy has ever operated there, leaving it open what happened to the destroyed Yemeni fishing vessel. The presence of warships may potentially change in case of more attacks in that area.
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