Ecoterra Intl published update on situation in Somali basin and recent developments. This update cleared two riddles. In Notices to Mariners dated Oct 28 we found, that pirates highjacked three vessels on October 28:
GULF OF ADEN
VESSEL REPORTED HIJACKED. LAST KNOWN POSITION
12-08N 054-25E AT 281156Z OCT.
TWO F/V HIJACKED VICINITY DENIS ISLAND (03-48S 055-40E)
AT 282011Z OCT.
Now Ecoterra Intl explains, that highjack in GoA was dhow related:
A motorized Dhow was seized on October 28, 2010 at 11h56 UTC (14h56 local time) in position 12:08N – 054:25E off Socotra Island, Somalia, according to the IMB Piracy reporting centre. Once a British protectorate, along with the remainder of the Mahra State of Qishn and Socotra and being a strategic important point, the four islands making the Archipelago of Socotra were accorded by the UN in 1967 to Yemen, though they are very close to the mainland of the tip of north-eastern Somalia. Several of the female lineages of the inhabitants on the island, notably those in mtDNA haplogroup N, are reportedly found nowhere else on earth. The Dhow with presently unknown flag and about 10 crew is heading now towards the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor of the Gulf of Aden (IRTC) and is likely to be used as pirate-base and decoy to capture a larger vessel. Further reports are awaited.
As for fishing vessels mystery, answer is expected one:
Persistent local reports from the Seychelles, which are however not yet officially confirmed, speak of the capture of two Taiwanese fishing vessels, who are said to operate in connection with the Seychelles as point of transshipment for mainly tuna caught in the Indian Ocean. It seems that the owners as well as the authorities of Taiwan increasingly keep such cases out of the information stream in order to avoid that their illegal fishing activities in the Indian Ocean are disclosed and cover up in total negligence of the seafarers plight.
Ecoterra Intl claimed there’re 519 hostages in Somali – if Ecoterra Intl means most of them are sailors, Ecoterra Intl is wrong. I had kind of dispute with Ecoterra Intl before, but haven’t changed my mind – highjacking statistics must be classified and separate international shipping from local. We don’t know why, how and where were highjacked most of the dhows whom Ecoterra Intl stubbornly tries to include in statistics. Those dhows are not international shipping, why they’re plying very dangerous waters, is a mystery. Ecoterra Intl recongnizes some of dhows as highly suspicious, I think that some of them willingly turn into mother ships. To understand what is going on, we must make a picture. But this picture must be a clear one, not blurred by unknown numbers of dubious dhows under dubious flags dubiously owned and manned. Including dhows in statistics makes it possible to manipulate statistics for this or that benefit. Not only dhows, there must be distinction between failed highjacks and succesfull ones. If pirates boarded vessel, but couldn’t catch crew and had to leave, we can’t count those cases equal to complete ones. International community, maritime organizations and navy already manipulate statistics, and Ecoterra Intl already blamed them with that. But now Ecoterra Intl is taking same road though in different direction – international big ones pursue their purposes, Ecoterra Intl and some other organizations and persosns their, but shipping is left as something third nobody seem to care about.
I maintain my own statistics of highjacks, though in Russian only, but next one I’ll make also in English.
Ecoterra Intl gives details on tanker Polar highjack, pirates used VLCC Samho Dearm as a mother ship, this fact in itself is an utter disgrace to international community, UN and all without even one exception international maritime organizations. What world do we live in, people? Countries can’t agree with each other even on such a small-scale problem, as Somali piracy. International organizations feast on piracy as vultures, and things which worry them are not piracy and fate of seamen, but their own political power and independence of many shipping companies, preferring self-defence to signing pathetic petitions and scaring off pirates with Best Practices like monk scaring off devil with Cross and Holy Bible.
Citadel is more dangerous than ever, with each new case of lucky escape. The only way to safe the passage is armed guards on board, either military or mercenary. Maritime organizations betrayed shipping and seamen and demonstrated just stunning cynicism and hypocrisy. Am I right saying that, or am I crazy? If I’m crazy, why many people agree with me, not with what media is publishing? Look at media, including maritime media. They’re full of correctness and politeness, they’re above critics or basic analyze, they’re just watchers stating the facts. Ok – you tell facts, we draw out conclusions. But why then, you’re feedeing us with some analyze after all, but alas, only one-sided, from organizations I mentioned? Why there are NO other opinions except politically correct and highly approved? Tell you what – North Korean media is one hell of a freedom of speech, in comparison with international maritime media.
I smoke, curse and sometimes drink, I prefer calling things what they’re – if I see something mewing like cat, scratching like cat and looking like cat, I call it cat and don’t give a damn for all the political correctness in the world. I long for good old times, when we call things what they were. When what the hell, I could smoke anywhere, not being considered something very near criminal. How long are we going to keep on course we didn’t plot and obey to commands from highly suspicious persons (actually many of those persons must be in Most Wanted List long time ago), like our dear politicians or heads of maritime organizations?
October 31 2010