Start of Piracy Activities in the Somali Basin

By Piracy

Dryad Maritime Intelligence, the leading maritime intelligence provider in the UK, has resumed their appeal for increased vigilance against piracy. The reason for their calls is the fact that Island Splendor, a merchant ship managed in the UK, has been attacked in the Somali Basin on Friday.

She was sailing nearly 230 nautical miles WSW of Hobyo when two skiffs attacked her. The signal flares from Island Splendor could not stop the pirates and they continued approaching the vessel. The piracy attempt was repelled by the private maritime security company but still the Somalis managed to return fire.

According to Dryad Maritime Intelligence if an attempt to hijack a big merchant ship succeed, the Somalia's piracy structures will easily revive.

Island Splendor is the first vessel attacked since the end of the Southwest Monsoon season in the Indian Ocean, which usually indicates the end of pirate attempts in the open seas. The last attack against a big merchant ship was registered in April this year.

On Monday this week, only four days after Island Splendor was attacked, another ship was fired only 270 nautical miles East of the first attack. Dryad Maritime Intelligence assume that the same Pirate Action Group is responsible for the attack.

The statement of the Director of Intelligence, Dryad Maritime Intelligence, Ian Millen was:

“Despite the pressure applied by coalition forces and the assessed depletion of pirate resources, there was a likelihood that we would see a break out of a PAG into the sea lanes and that the hijack and ransom of a single large merchant vessel would be all it would take to feed the infrastructure of the Somali pirate criminal enterprise. Following Monday’s report, it would appear that the attack on two vessels in the space of four days confirms that the Somali pirate business model is not yet broken. Continued vigilance and strict adherence to BMP measures in all areas are the keys to success in keeping vessels safe”.
The reviving of the pirate's attempt at the end of the Southwest Monsoon season have been predicted by Dryad Maritime. Those attacks are the signals that the conditions in the open seas of the Indian Ocean, the Somali Basin and the Arabian Sea are good for starting post Monsoon piracy activities.

Ian Millen also stated:

“Although there have been significant numbers of reports of suspected pirate activity during the SW Monsoon period, especially in the waters of the Gulf of Aden and Bab el Mandeb strait, we have not considered these to be pirate related and have more likely been interaction with local traffic and fishermen. We do, however, continue to encourage all vessels and their embarked security teams to report their concerns, whilst encouraging them to understand normal patterns of behavior to avoid tragic consequences for themselves or for the many innocent seafarers they encounter. The incident with Island Splendor last Friday is a classic example of where vigilance and a professional response paid dividends in preventing what could have been the first real pirate success of 2013.”
Still there isn't much information about the Monday attack against a fishing ship in the Somali Basin. It is suggested that coalition naval forces deterred the pirates.