Maritime News

Further pirate attacks off Somalia

21 April 2017

There are growing reports of pirate incidents off Somalia, following a five-year lull in such attacks in the area. As with the rise of the previous wave of piracy, overfishing by other nations in Somali waters seems to have been a trigger in the recurrence of these incidents. 

Following two recent hijacks and crew rescues by security and naval personnel off Somalia, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reports that a tanker was fired on by about five to six armed pirates in the Gulf of Aden on 15 April. The attack was abandoned after the onboard armed security team returned fire. In a further incident around 10 nautical miles off Yemen on 14 April, six armed men fired on an anchored tanker and attempted to board it, but were unsuccessful.

Other recent incidents of piracy and armed robbery reported to the IMB worldwide Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) include the following. 

  • Nine pirates fired on a tanker around 59 nautical miles off Brass, Nigeria on 19 April. The alarm was raised, fire pumps started, the vessel increased speed and took evasive manoeuvres, and non-essential crew retreated to the citadel. The pirates abandoned the attack and moved away. 
  • Armed men boarded an offshore tug around 11 nautical miles off Brass, Nigeria on 19 April, kidnapped eight crew members and escaped. The Nigerian Navy responded and one injured crew member was evacuated by helicopter.
  • Six robbers were spotted on board a bulk carrier anchored in the Congo River, Angola on 7 April. The alarm was raised and the ship’s whistle sounded. The robbers escaped with stolen ship’s property.
  • Six armed men boarded a tug towing a ro-ro ship around 24 nautical miles off Sibago Island, Philippines on 23 March. They kidnapped two crew and escaped with stolen documents. The Philippines authorities successfully rescued the kidnapped crew.
  • A robber was spotted on board a vessel berthed in Batangas, Philippines on 21 March and threatened the crew with a long knife. The alarm was raised and the crew alerted. The robber escaped with ship’s property.
  • A fishing trawler was found drifting at Sandakan, Philippines on 19 January. Its three crew members were missing and believed to be kidnapped.


All attacks and suspicious sightings should be reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, tel: +603 2031 0014 (24 hours),


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