Two failed piracy attacks on tankers reported in the Indian Ocean - 11th October 2013

The IMB reports that an unidentified VLCC was approached and fired upon by suspected pirates 230 m east of Hobyo at 0920z 11 October. According to reports from the security team on board, counter piracy measures were implemented and warning flares were fired. Dsspite this, one of the skiffs continued to approach and closed to within 400 metres when the security team fired a single warning shot. The skiff continued to close in and a second warnig shot was fired at 250 metres, at which time suspected pirates returned fire with an automatic weapon, but aborted their attempted attack after retaliation from the armed security team.

Commenting on the incident, EU NAVFOR's Operation Commander said “The attack this morning demonstrates that there is still a clear and present danger from pirates off the Somali coast. It is crucial that naval counter-piracy forces maintain pressure on these criminals and that the maritime industry remains vigilant, taking appropriate precautions to deter an attack”.

Finally, Iranian press accounts indicated that an Iranian-flagged LNG tanker was attacked by pirates as she was underway off Ras Al Mukalla, in the Gulf of Aden, on Friday, 11 October. Details on the incident remain limited at this juncture, but local media sources reported that the attack was foiled by Iranian naval vessels in the area. The Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Navy for Operations, Admiral Siyavash Jarreh, was quoted as saying that “the Iranian oil tanker was escorted by the Navy flotilla through the waterway and it continued its path towards its destination fully safely”.