Two ships attacked simultaneously by pirates off the coast of Yemen

By Piracy

Pirates attacked two ships off the coast of Yemen yesterday. The piracy in the Gulf of Aden is still a threat to the marine traffic in the area. The second attack happened just 18 minutes after the first attack, this fact according to the IMB’s Piracy Reporting Center is showing that the ships were attacked by the same group of criminals.

A bulker under way was intercepted by a skiff with armed crew members (5) aboard. This attack was more serious and happened near the coordinates 12° 52.5'N, 047° 52.4'E around 0348 UTC. Seeing the pirate skiff to approach, the captain raised the alarm to warn the crew, activated fire hoses, sounded the ship’s horn and took evasive manoeuvres. The skiff was warned to stop sailing towards the ship, but that did not help. On board security team fired warning shots, but that defensive action did not cancel the pirate attack. The pirates also used fire arms towards the bulker. After security team responded with heavy fire, the pirates stopped their attack.

Soon after this incident, a tanker was approached by a pirate skiff with five people aboard. The pirate boat opened fire in position 12° 50'N, 047° 49'E. The captain of the vessel increased the speed, took evasive manoeuvres and tried to reach UKMTO for help. The pirates stopped any aggressive actions and left the location after seeing the security team and their weapons. Soon after the attacks a military helicopter came to assist the attacked vessels.

According to reports of IBM, pirate attacks around Somalia fell notably this year. For the first 9 months of 2013 only 10 incidents were reported. A year ago were announced 70 incidents for the same period. NATO Shipping Center warned recently that "current conditions are favorable to piracy activity, and the presence of pirate attack groups at sea in the High Risk Area (HRA) cannot be ruled out. The threat of piracy against merchant shipping continues throughout the HRA."

There is a good cooperation among crew members and security teams on board the ships allowing to reduce the pirate attacks significantly. This is the only effective way so far in the fight against sea piracy.

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