Piracy is a very nasty business and far from the glamorous movie images that are often portrayed by Hollywood.

Piracy Today is also are a lot more sinister than the often bland media reports that fail to understand the desperate and dangerous situation facing seafarers.

Many sailors and seafarers get killed and injured and suffer badly while in extended captivity and it is a very big money ransom game off Somalia.

Pirates reaped more than $100 million in 2009 from ransoming ship and crews. Also piracy is alive and well in Nigeria which takes number two spot and out in Asia the Malacca Straits while relatively quiet these days still has incidents


While press reports frequently mention piracy incidents in the Gulf of Aden and Somalia the true extent of the problem is quite understated in the media. Actually the worst place for yachts is around Venezuela but there its very much an attack and assault form of piracy.

It is very important to comprehend the actual scale of the current modern piracy problem. In the first six months of 2009 there were 240 piracy incidents reported from around the world to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC).

This compares with just 114 reported for the first six months of 2008. This made a total of 78 vessels that were actually boarded by pirates, and another 75 vessels were fired on with weapons, and 31 ships were hijacked, and a staggering 561 seafarers taken hostage.

Of those six seafarers were killed, nineteen more were wounded, another seven were kidnapped and eight went missing and their fate is unknown. This virtual doubling in attacks is entirely attributable to the increase in pirate activity in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia.


There is much to know about Somalia pirates and that starts with Modern Day Pirates and the whole Somalia Pirates problem of Maritime Piracy and of course the Latest Piracy News with news of captures, attacks and those ships released after payment of ransom to Somalia pirates. Also includes anti-piracy naval news and what is new the fight with Somalia Pirates.

Also read these latest Piracy Articles and read my latest with New Bestseller Pirate Book – Piracy Today for what the global piracy scene is all about, it’s an eye opener!


Somalia Pirates Hijack a Thai Fishing Trawler

Somalia Pirates have now hijacked a Thai fishing trawler the THAI UNION around 200 nm north of the Seychelles and 650 nm off the Somali coast. The latest hijack by Somalia pirates takes it to 8 boats and that is just 4 within the last 2 weeks. Of this total 3 are fishing boats and the British yacht

Somalia Pirates Hijack British Yacht

Yacht Lynn Rival activated an EPIRB last week and was presumed hijacked while on a passage from Seychelles to Tanzania. was later confirmed hijacked by Somalia Pirates and Royal Navy warship found boat drifting with no one aboard, couple missing. The couple are evidently being held ashore and this is the same scenario as recent piracy hijackings. Its going to be a tough time for the couple as there will be no ransom resources and the pirates will want millions.

Pirates threaten to execute China seafarers

Somali pirates have threatened to execute seafarers on board the hijacked Cosco bulk carrier De Xin Hai if any rescue attempt is made. The Somali pirates attacked and seized the Chinese vessel on Monday along with 25 crew members. The attack came some 700 miles (1,100 kilometers) out in the Indian Ocean, east of the Somali coastline. This appeared to be a record distance away from Somalia as the heavy Naval presence severely restricts the success rate and so they have moved far out.

Pirate Updates

The Singapore flagged container ship Kota Wajarthat was hijacked is now arrived at an anchor location in Somalia to start ransom negotiations. The Master of the captured ship MV Ariana is also being held close by and has requested the Singapore ship provide some fuel as the Ukrainian ship has two women crew of the 24 Ukrainians on board had run out of fuel and the ship has been abandoned by both the Greek ship owner and the Ukrainian Government. The MV Charelle which is owned by a company in New Zealand has also resent a MAYDAY call to both navy and humanitarian organizations as the crew have run out of food and water and the vessel is low on water. The 10 crew are relatively healthy however suffering from diarrhoea, and they have no clean drinking water left and negotiations have broken down. The long held Taiwese fishing vessel Win Far 161 is in a serious situation with the crew abandoning all hope of release as the owners will not come forward and negotiate. The Spanish fishing vessel FV Alakrana is being held and this also involves demands to release pirates being held. Pirates Hijack Container Ship Somali pirates have attached and hijacked a Singapore-flagged container ship. The Kota Wajar was seized around 300 nautical miles north the Seychelles. The ship had 21 crew members and was bound for Kenyan port of Mombasa. The attack took place early Thursday, just 24 nautical miles from the site of recent attacks on French tuna-fishing boats. The latest hijacking brings to at least six the number of vessels in the hands of Somali pirates. The others include a Spanish trawler, a Taiwanese fishing vessel and Ukrainian, German and Turkish freighters. More than 110 crew members are currently being held hostage. There has been a total of 174 attacks by Somali pirates since the start of 2009, 49 of them were successful hijackings. A 30 strong flotilla of foreign warships is patrolling the Gulf of Aden, and now pirates are striking much further out using mother ships. Pirates focus most of their attacks on transitional weather periods between monsoons when the seas are quiet enough for them to operate from small fiberglass skiffs.

French Marines Battle with Pirates

Marines posted on board two French fishing vessels in the Indian Ocean fired on and repelled two pirate boats in the early hours of Saturday morning. The Drennec and Glenan are reported to have been approached by the launches 195 miles north of the Seychelles. French marines first fired flares, then warning shots, and finally fired on the boats when they received small arms fire in return. The Seychelles coastguard and EU naval forces serving as part of the Atalanta task force apparently captured the boats and the mother ship, arresting 11 men.

Singapore Pirate Attack

A pirate attack in the Singapore Strait was foiled by a vigilant crew. Navigation officers of the watch aboard the Latana - a 6,882dwt products tanker owned by Titan Petrochemicals in Hong Kong, spotted a small boat alongside to starboard. It was crewed by six men, two of whom climbed aboard at the poop deck. The officers sounded the general alarm and mustered the crew. The boarders disembarked and the small vessel departed. No one was hurt in the incident and nothing was stolen. In September this year, the 70,000dwt tanker Pacific Harmony was targeted by two men in a small boat, and that was followed by the suspicious approach to the 7,000dwt chemical tanker MMM Kingston.

Pirate Hostage for 6 Months

A Taiwanese deep-sea fishing boat hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean in April is still docked in Somalia but its crew is safe. The Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said this after the Taipei-based China Times daily reported that same day that the Win Far 161, a tuna longliner, has been used by Somali pirates to attack foreign merchant vessels and even to open fire upon U.S. military aircraft. He also stated that the Taiwanese shipowner is still negotiating with Somali pirates over the amount of ransom needed to get the vessel back and that no progress has been made (as the owner simply doesn’t want to pay or negotiate). The Win Far 161 was hijacked near an island in the Seychelles April 6 (So the poor crew have been hostage more than 6 months!) . Of its 30-strong crew, the ship's skipper and first engineer are Taiwanese, while five other are Chinese, 17 are Filipinos and six are Indonesian.

The Germans Stop Pirate Attack

The German warship Bremen intervened against suspected pirates. A helicopter from the EU Navfor warship identified suspected pirate craft in the Somali Basin. The suspected craft were made up of a mother skiff and two smaller skiffs, near the islands of Seychelles. The EU Navfor helicopter fired warning shots and the skiffs stopped. The crew from the helicopter observed that the suspected pirates threw a number of items over board. A boarding party from the German warship found on the skiff grappling hooks, ammunition, GPS and ten barrels of fuel. The skiffs had no fishing equipment on board and after confiscating the suspected pirate equipment the mother skiff and crew were released”

More Japanese Warships Go to Fight Pirates

Japan sent two Maritime Self-Defense Forces (MSDF) destroyers Tuesday on an antipiracy mission off Somalia to replace the two operating since July. The 4,650-ton Takanami and 3,550-ton Hamagiri, with some 410 personnel aboard, departed early Tuesday from their base in Yokosuka. In March they ordered the dispatch of two MSDF destroyers on an antipiracy mission off Somalia, marking Japan's first overseas policing action under the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) law. Under Article 82 of the SDF Law, which governs policing action on the seas, the MSDF warships could protect only Japan-related vessels, including Japanese-registered ships and foreign vessels with Japanese nationals or shipments aboard. In June the Diet enacted an antipiracy law authorizing the Self-Defense Forces to protect any commercial ship from pirates, regardless of its connection to Japan. It also enables the SDF to open fire on pirate vessels that, despite warning shots, continue to close in on other ships.


On the 4th October Somalia pirates in two skiffs opened fire with AK-47’s and attempted to seize an 18,000-tonne Indian Ocean French Navy fleet flagship in a night attack after apparently mistaking it for a merchant vessel. The ship was patrolling some 460 km off the Somali coast as part of the EU Operation Atalanta piracy mission. The crew of La Somme, which is both a command vessel and fuel tanker, quickly overcame the lightly armed pirates and captured 5 of them. When they realized the mistake the pirates attempted to escape however the French Navy pursued them and apprehended one of the skiffs and five men. The pirates had evidently jettisoned all the boats water, food and weapons overboard to get rid of any evidence.


Somalia pirates have finally released the Turkish 32,173 dwt bulk carrier Horizon 1 and its 23 Turkish crew after payment of a ransom of $1.7million on October 6th. The Horizon-1, owned by the Istanbul-based Horizon Maritime and Trade, was sailing from Saudi Arabia to Jordan with a cargo of 33,000 cubic meters of sulphide when it was seized by pirates on July 8. Pirates directed the ship to the port of Eyl in northern Somalia's breakaway Puntland region, where it was anchored.


The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency has arrested a gang of pirates. The agency intercepted a suspicious fishing boat about seven nautical miles from Tanjung Tohor, in southern Malaysia's Johor State and detained six fishermen aboard. The fishermen had suspicious resident identities, officers also found two air rifles on the boat which were believed to have been used in sea robberies.


Somalia Pirates have resumed their attacks on shipping as the weather off the Somali coast and Gulf of Aden has improved. The rate of successful hijackings has remained steady, showing that the pirates are having a tougher time in seizing a ship. The pirates resumed their activity in mid-September after about a six-week seasonal monsoon break. A Turkish frigate intervened after the Panamanian-flagged Handy V came under fire from pirates in two small skiffs. The crew fired parachute flares at the pirates and contacted coalition ships for assistance. The same day, a Saudi Arabian warship sent a helicopter to assist the Greek-owned Panamax Peppo after it was chased by pirates. The number of attacks has already surpassed the total for 2008, and the rate of successful hijackings has remained steady. In 2008 the pirate success rate was nearly 38 per cent, while this year it is around 20 per cent, according to IMB statistics. There have been 146 attacks in 2009 and 32 were successful. In 2008 there were 111 reported attacks and 42 successful hijackings. The increase in attacks comes despite a much heavier naval presence and the creation in January of the US-led Combined Taskforce 151. Some 80 per cent of foiled pirate attacks are accomplished by merchant crews without intervention from naval vessels.


A trawler hijacked by Somalia pirates in the Indian Ocean has been spotted by navy aircraft and the 36-man crew is safe. The Spanish warship Canarias was heading toward the tuna-fishing vessel and was expected to sight the fishing boat before the pirates could reach port in Somalia. The 100 metre long fishing vessel Alakrana, was boarded by Somali pirates early Friday when it was working waters 800 miles away from the nearest navy escort. Ship owners of the remaining 17 Spanish boats fishing in the area have sent instructions for them to move further off shore or return to port. It was the second attack on the Alakrana in less than a month. On Sept. 4, while trawling in waters off the Seychelles the captain was forced to take evasive action to dodge a pirate attack. In April 2008, a Basque tuna boat was hijacked by pirates off Somalia's coast and held for six days until a reported $1.2 million ransom was paid. In a follow up to this attack the pirates didnt fare as well when two of the suspected pirates who gained control of the Spanish tuna fishing vessel ere arrested by the EU NAVFOR Spanish warship Canarias. The suspected pirates had left the Alakrana in a small boat that was detected and stopped. During the arrest, one of the pirates was injured and his condition is stable. Both suspected pirates are now on board Canarias. The hijacked vessel has anchored of the coast of Somalia. All about Somalia Pirates.

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