PAG seized by Danish warship
The Danish-flagged product tanker, MT Torm Kansas, was attacked by pirates in a single skiff as she was underway 550nm east of Dar es Salaam (location 07:20.4S - 048:37E) at 1410 hours UTC on Saturday, 9 November. According to reports, between four and five pirates approached the tanker on a course of 211 degrees and at a speed of 13 knots, and closed to within 1 nm. A press release from Torm indicated that the pirates then opened fire on the vessel. A series of counter measures were subsequently implemented, naval forces were alerted to the incident, and an embarked armed security team fired a series of warning shots. The suspected pirates were compelled to abort their attack, and the vessel was reported to be safe. The vessel was en route from Sikka in India to Mossel Bay in South Africa at the time of the incident.
The Danish frigate, HDMS Esbern Snare, was tasked to investigate the incident, and through the night of Saturday, 9 November, located a whaler and a skiff in the vicinity of the attack. It was reported that in the early hours of Sunday, 10 November, the frigate's Special Maritime Insertion Unit approached the small vessels, and the suspected pirates surrendered without resistance. It was reported that nine suspected pirates are currently being held on board HDMS Esbern Snare.
The attack is a reminder that despite the reduction in Somali pirate activity, there remains a threat of piracy and hijacking throughout the region. Furthermore, the incident highlights that pirate groups are able to attack vessels in the wider Somali Basin, in addition to their more common operational areas in the Gulf of Aden and southern Red Sea. Speaking following the incident, the commander of NATO's Operation Ocean Shield, Commodore Henning Amundsen, stated “this incident is both a positive example of the successes of the international community in deterring piracy and a reminder that we must remain vigilant… The root causes of piracy remain, though the international community is working to address them". Masters transiting the region should ensure comprehensive counter piracy measures are in place at all times.