Oceans Beyond Piracy:
On 13 March 2017 Somali pirates hijacked the MT ARIS 13, a tanker vessel en route to Mogadishu from Djibouti. The ship was seized approximately 18 km off the northern tip of Somalia.
Not registered with the Maritime Security Center for the Horn of Africa, an organization that registers and tracks commercial traffic in region
The MT ARIS 13 was preparing to cut through the Socotra Gap between the tip of Somalia and the island of Socotra. This route is frequently used as a cost- and time-saving measure for vessels traveling down the east coast of Africa despite the threat of piracy.
Low freeboard of only three meters
Moving at a slow speed of five knots.
These factors made the vessel an easier target for pirates, who typically board ships with ladders from fast moving skiffs. This attack reinforces the need for vessels to follow shipping industry Best Management Practices (BMP) within the BMP specified High Risk Area.
On March 16 2017 the crew of the MT ARIS 13, a tanker vessel, was released from Somali pirate hands due to the efforts of the Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF). The entire crew is reported unharmed. Under the care of the PMPF, the MT ARIS 13 is now proceeding to the Somali port city of Bosasso. On 13 March, pirates hijacked the vessel en route to Mogadishu from Djibouti. The ship was seized approximately 18 km off the northern tip of Somalia. This incident marks the first hijacking of a large merchant vessel since the height of Somali piracy in 2012.
Image:Sailors from the EU Naval Force French Navy frigate, FS Courbet, have provided support and reassurance to the crew of the freed fuel tanker, Aris 13, as she sailed along the coast of Somalia. (EUNAVFOR)
In the morning of March 16th the PMPF engaged in a firefight with the pirates who were in the midst of resupplying themselves aboard the MT ARIS 13. The PMPF, with the help of local Somali authorities and clan elders in the Xabo region, resolved the situation and the crew of the MT ARIS 13 were released. This operation marks a success in the maritime policing of Somali waters by local law enforcement.
The Puntland Maritime Police Force was formed in 2010 and was deployed against pirates for the first time in 2012. The PMPF has had several successes, including the release of the MV Iceberg 1, the dramatic cliff top rescue of the fishing vessel the al- Amal, and the recent operation against ISIL militants in the town of Qandala.
Read the full reports from Oceans Beyond Piracy Here:
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