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Combined Maritime Forces Issues New Piracy Alert

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  • Pacific Merchant Marine Council, NLUS
    Piracy will be the topic for our Monday, September 21 luncheon - see the announcement at bottom of this message. We still have the live action DVD video
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 7, 2009
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      Piracy will be the topic for our Monday, September 21 luncheon - see the announcement at bottom of this message. We still have the live action DVD video Porampo: Pirates of the Malacca Straits and San Francisco's Pirata restaurant has a big screen television. Please calendar this special event and tell others.
       
      Phelps
      ___________________________________ 
       
      Combined Maritime Forces Issues New Alert to Mariners

      Story Number: NNS090407-06 http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=44098
      Release Date: 4/7/2009 4:48:00 PM
      Top News Story - Editors should consider using these stories first in local publications.

      he amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) transits the Gulf of Aden. Boxer is the flagship for Combined Task Force 151, a multinational task force conducting counter-piracy operations.
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      090401-N-6639M-689 GULF OF ADEN (April 1, 2009) The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) transits the Gulf of Aden. Boxer is the flagship for Combined Task Force 151, a multinational task force conducting counter-piracy operations to detect and deter piracy in and around the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Red Sea. CTF 151 was established to create a lawful maritime order and develop security in the maritime environment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Laura A. Moore/Released)
       
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      From Commander, Combined Maritime Forces Public Affairs

      MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- Following a series of attacks off the eastern coast of Somalia, Combined Maritime Forces issued an updated special maritime advisory message.

      The message highlights several recent attacks that occurred hundreds of miles off the Somali coast and states that merchant mariners should be increasingly vigilant when operating in those waters.

      "We continue to highlight the importance of preparation by the merchant mariners and the maritime industry in this message," said Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, commander, Combined Maritime Forces. "We synchronize the efforts of the naval forces deployed to the region. However as we have often stated, international naval forces alone will not be able to solve the problem of piracy at sea.

      "Piracy is a problem that starts ashore."

      While the majority of attacks during 2008 and early 2009 took place in the Gulf of Aden, these recent attacks off the eastern coast of Somalia are not unprecedented. An attack on the large crude tanker Sirius Star in November 2008 occurred more than 450 nautical miles off the southeast coast of Somalia.

      The notice also reiterates the fact that despite an increased naval presence in the region, ships and aircraft are unlikely to be close enough to provide support to vessels under attack. The scope and magnitude of problem can not be understated.

      The area involved off the coast of Somalia and Kenya as well as the Gulf of Aden equals more than 1.1 million square miles (2.5 million square kilometers), roughly four times the size of Texas or the size of the Mediterranean and Red Seas combined. The length of the Somali coastline is roughly the same length as the entire Eastern Seaboard of the United States.

      Ships and aircraft of Combined Task Force 151, the European Union, NATO and a number of international navies continue to patrol the region, but the closest military ship could be days away from a merchant vessel sailing hundreds of miles off the coast. While maritime patrol aircraft from a number of nations fly counterpiracy missions, the same aircraft are also providing critical support to coalition forces operating throughout the region.

      Despite the recent successful attacks, merchant mariners have proven successes as first-line defenders against pirates. A number of merchant vessels have employed evasive maneuvering and other defensive measures to protect their ships and their cargoes.

      Recent examples of proactive measures include the crew of Panamanian-flagged motor vessel Protector evasively out-maneuvering pirates and repelling their would-be attackers with fire hoses; the crew of Motor Vessel Sea Green firing several warning flares at suspected pirates as they approached, successfully warding off an attack; and the merchant mariners aboard Motor Vessel Africa Star rigging barbed wire along the sides of the ship to prevent pirates from boarding.

      In all three examples, merchant mariners were able to prevent the theft of their vessels via methods they undertook to secure their ships and protect their crews.

      CTF 151 is a multinational task force that conducts counterpiracy operations in and around the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Red Sea and was established to create a lawful maritime order and develop security in the maritime environment.

      For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.



      Modern day piracy is a growing problem for the maritime industry, with pirates ... worst areas for piracy are currently the malacca straights, somaila/east africa ...
      answers.yahoo.com/question/ index? qid=20070427151447AAR8bmr
      ... focus on a longer established organized piracy going on in the banda straights. ... are several other areas of piracy wrecking financial and human costs ...
      answers.yahoo.com/question/ index? qid=20081011114738AAg7lhM
      For years the issue of piracy on the high seas has been a chronic, yet almost ... oil choke points such as Bab-El-Mandeb, and the straights of Hormuz and Malacca. ...
      isnrabudhabi.com/ default.aspx?... &layout=Article&itemId=55&id=63 - Cached
      Not only has piracy never been eradicated, but ... the Malaccan straights has tripled in the past decade elevating piracy to its ...
      maritimeterrorism.com/2008/07/01/ terrorism’s-effect-on-marit...
      For years the issue of piracy on the high seas has been a chronic, yet almost acceptable disease inflicting the ... Mandeb, and the straights of Hormuz and ...
      aprodex.com/piracy-at-high-seas-- security-challenges-and-market-opp... - Cached
      Not only has piracy never been eradicated, but the number of pirate attacks on ... the Malaccan straights has tripled in the past decade elevating piracy to its ...
      www.dailynews.lk/2008/09/25/ bus10.asp - Cached
      Ships face piracy risks ... Straights should have "Safe passage permission", so as to exploit financially ... In general piracy causes remarkable disturbances ...
      www.dailynews.lk/2008/01/19/ fea06.asp - Cached
      Piracy survivors have reported that highly organised and violent criminal gangs ... doing shipping patrols over the malacca straights, so this is nothing new. ...
      www.strategypage.com/ militaryforums/512- 17316.aspx - 53k - Cached
      Weekly Piracy Report ... Anti-piracy efforts offer counterterrorism lessons ... modern day pirates, Piracy, piracy in the 21st century, straights of malacca ...
      en.wordpress.com/tag/ international- maritime-bureau - Cached
      180k - Adobe PDF - View as html
      While piracy has been recognized and in part dealt with in ... Straights consist ... 93. The Malacca Straights themselves ranked second highest with 37 ...
      andromeda.rutgers.edu/~gdga/JGCG/ archive/Winter07/OMEARA.pdf
      The Florida straights may not look very large or dangerous on a ... of the ominous straights finding six men guilty of air piracy and other related charges. ...
      www.thepriceofliberty.org/03/12/15/ antunez.htm - Cached
      From AP–Lloyd's to Remove Malacca Straights from Blacklist. From MSNBC–Piracy Still Troubling Shipping " ... companies don't report piracy lest their insurance ...
      huntoftheseawolves.net/blog/?p=42 - Cached
      Larsen then goes to "the heart of modern piracy" - the straights of Malacca, Indonesia. ... pirates, piracy, piracy in the 21st century, straights of malacca ...
      the8thcircle.com/2008/11/12/ kaj-larsens- modern-pirates-25m - Cached
      ... the TNI of being involved in increased piracy in the region, saying there were ... GAM Says it Will Not Attack Ships in Malacca Straights ...
      www.islamonline.net/english/news/ 2001- 09/08/article5.shtml - Cached
      Piracy, near-shore, remote areas and anchoring, including ... Cuban rafters in the Florida Straights, but always wondered exactly what I'd do if that happens. ...
      www.bootkeyharbor.com/Piracy.htm - Cached

      NAVY LEAGUE of the United States

      Pacific Merchant Marine Council

      The pleasure of your company is most welcome at our

      Fall Luncheon & Forum

      1130, Monday, September 21 

      Piracy Today - Threat to Maritime Commerce

      San Francisco Premier

      "Porampo: Pirates of the Malacca Straits"

      Plus select U. S. Merchant Marine Short Films

      Il Pirata, 2007 16th Street

      at the intersection with Utah Street

      Mission District, South o’ Market

      San Francisco

      Traditional Italian midday family style dinner

      Reservations in advance please

      $24 with paid reservation  $28 at the door

      Check payable to Phelps Hobart

      PO Box 191403, Sacramento CA 95819-1403

      Inquiries (916) 739-6949

    • Phelps Hobart
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 8, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
         

        US crewman: Somali pirates hold captain hostage

        AP 
         
        AP – This undated image shows the 17,000-ton container ship Maersk Alabama.
         
        By KATHARINE HOURELD, Associated Press Writer Katharine Houreld, Associated Press Writer

        NAIROBI, Kenya – The American crew of a hijacked U.S.-flagged ship retook control of the vessel from Somali pirates Wednesday but the captain was still being held hostage, according to Pentagon officials and a member of the crew.

        The crew member told The Associated Press that the 20-member crew had managed to seize one pirate and then successfully negotiate their own release.

        The man, who picked up the ship's satellite phone but did not identify himself, told the AP in a brief conversation that the crew had retaken control of the ship and the pirates were in a lifeboat. But the man also said that they were holding the ship's captain hostage.

        The news came hours after Pentagon officials said the crew had retaken the vessel from the Somali pirates who seized it far off the Horn of Africa.

        President Barack Obama was following the situation closely, foreign policy adviser Denis McDonough said.

        The ship was carrying emergency food relief to Mombasa, Kenya, when it was hijacked, the Copenhagen-based container shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk said.

        It was the sixth vessel seized within a week, a rise that analysts attribute to a new strategy by Somali pirates who are operating far from the warships patrolling the Gulf of Aden.

        A U.S. official had said around noon Eastern time the crew had retaken control and had one pirate in custody.

        "The crew is back in control of the ship," a U.S. official said at midday, speaking on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak on the record. "It's reported that one pirate is on board under crew control — the other three were trying to flee," the official said.

        Another U.S. official, citing a readout from an interagency conference call, said: "Multiple reliable sources are now reporting that the Maersk Alabama is now under control of the U.S. crew. The crew reportedly has one pirate in custody. The status of others is unclear, they are believed to be in the water."

        Maersk Line Limited CEO John F. Reinhart said the vessel's manifest showed it was carrying 401 containers of food aid bound for Africa from USAID, Serving God Ministries, the World Food Program and Catholic Relief.

        He said the company received a call around 10:30 a.m. EDT from the crew that indicated the crewmen were safe. But the call got cut off, and the company could not ask any more questions.

        "The crew member called to say, 'We are safe.' They did not say they had taken over the vessel. They did not say the pirates are off the vessel," Reinhart said.

        Cmdr. Jane Campbell, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, said that it was the first pirate attack "involving U.S. nationals and a U.S.-flagged vessel in recent memory." She did not give an exact timeframe.

        Andrea Phillips, the wife of Capt. Richard Phillips of Underhill, Vermont., said her husband has sailed in those waters "for quite some time" and a hijacking was perhaps "inevitable."

        Joseph Murphy, a professor at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, said his sons, second in command Capt. Shane Murphy, was a 2001 Massachusetts Maritime Academy graduate who recently talked to a class about the dangers of piracy.

        The younger Murphy wrote on his Facebook profile that he worked in waters between Oman and Kenya.

        "These waters are infested with pirates that highjack (sic) ships daily," Murphy wrote on the page, which features a photograph of him. "I feel like it's only a matter of time before my number gets called."

        Joseph Murphy said his son was trained in anti-piracy tactics at the academy and received training with firearms and small-arms tactics.

        Somali pirates are trained fighters who frequently dress in military fatigues and use speedboats equipped with satellite phones and GPS equipment. They are typically armed with automatic weapons, anti-tank rocket launchers and various types of grenades. Far out to sea, their speedboats operate from larger mother ships.

        The U.S. Navy said that the ship was hijacked early Wednesday about 280 miles (450 kilometers) southeast of Eyl, a town in the northern Puntland region of Somalia.

        U.S. Navy spokesman Lt. Nathan Christensen said the closest U.S. ship at the time of the hijacking was 345 miles (555 kilometers)away.

        The Combined Maritime Forces issued an advisory Wednesday highlighting several recent attacks that occurred hundreds of miles off the Somali coast and stating that merchant mariners should be increasingly vigilant when operating in those waters.

        Douglas J. Mavrinac, the head of maritime research at investment firm Jefferies & Co., noted that it is very unusual for an international ship to be U.S.-flagged and carry a U.S. crew. Although about 95 percent of international ships carry foreign flags because of the lower cost and other factors, he said, ships that are operated by or for the U.S. government — such a food aid ships like Maersk Alabama — have to carry U.S. flags, and therefore, employ a crew of U.S. citizens.

        There are fewer than 200 U.S.-flagged vessels in international waters, said Larry Howard, chair of the Global Business and Transportation Department at SUNY Maritime College in New York.

        ___

        Associated Press writers Barbara Surk in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Pauline Jelinek in Washington; Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen; Samantha Bomkamp in New York; and Tom Maliti and Anita Powell in Nairobi, Kenya contributed to this report.

        _____________________________________


        --- In PMMC-NLUS@yahoogroups.com, "Pacific Merchant Marine Council, NLUS" <pmmc@...> wrote:

        >
        > Piracy will be the topic for our Monday, September 21 luncheon - see the announcement at bottom of this message. We still have the live action DVD video Porampo: Pirates of the Malacca Straits and San Francisco's Pirata restaurant has a big screen television. Please calendar this special event and tell others.
        >
        > Phelps
        > ___________________________________
        >
        > Combined Maritime Forces Issues New Alert to
        Mariners

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