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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Piracy at Sea - Indian intervention

Dear (s)

Some great Marine  news from the High Seas of  Horn of Africa.  Great valour exhibited by Indian Navy.

Those who travel by sea are poor cousins of those who do by air.  Whilst any hijack of an aircraft would hit the headlines and international attention straightaway – the news of ship piracy might find place in some obscure corner.  I had earlier circulated something on Piracy -  robbery committed at sea. The english term pirate is derived from latin pirata  - an attempt to find luck on sea.  Kadal Kollaiar (Sea pirates) would often be portrayed in old movies as people with masks, paints all over body with crude arms, jumping into boats, killing people on board and usurping all wealth that was carried as merchandise.  Maritime piracy, according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) of 1982, consists of any criminal acts of violence, detention, or depredation committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or aircraft that is directed on the high seas against another ship, aircraft, or against persons or property on board a ship or aircraft.

Pirates have been around as long as people have used the oceans as trade routes. Read an interesting story that in 75BC  Julius Caesar was kidnapped by Cilician pirates.  To maintain an aura of superiority, Caesar disapproved their claim for ransom stating that  he was worth more.  Of late Somali has been in news for wrong reasons. The several thousand-kilometre long coast of Somalia has long been known for its lawlessness.   Since the collapse of the state, boats illegally fishing in Somali waters  have been  a common sight.  The activities have increased manifold after the invasion by Ethiopia. The Horn of Africa (alternatively Northeast Africa, and sometimes Somali Peninsula; shortened to HOA) is a peninsula in East Africa that juts for hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea, and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent.

 somalian pirates....

The international trade is complex and there have been representations from the aggrieved families of those held captive in  “ IRAN DENAYAT” the  Iranian cargo ship, with three Indians on board, was taken hostage on 21 August and “ M T STOLT VALOR” – the  Japanese oil tanker under siege since 15 September with  18 Indian sailors on board.

vessel : Jag Arnav

This week, Somalian Pirates  hijacked a Philippines chemical tanker with 23 crew bringing the total number of attacks in waters off the impoverished African country this year to 83.  Another one would easily have been added to this list but for marine commandos of Indian Navy. On Nov. 11, 2008 - Somali Pirates attacked Indian Bulk carrier Jag Arnav    71,122 DWT owned by  Great Eastern Shipping Ltd.

The alarm raised by the vessel was picked by the Naval warship  The Indian naval warship ‘Gomti’ foiled a pirate attempt on the Indian patrolling the Gulf of Aden.  India's Navy has been protecting Indian merchant vessels in the Gulf of Aden since Oct. 23, according to the statement. The marine commandoes operating from armed helicopter intervened and prevented Pirates from boarding and hijacking the merchant vessel.  The action is seen as a strong signal to the heavily armed Somalian pirates who have menaced merchant shipping in the area for the past several months, and once again established the Indian Navy's 'blue water' capabilities. INS Tabar   thereafter closed in on the Indian merchant ship and escorted her to safety.

With regards
S Sampathkumar

PS:  Piracy at Sea – circulated to my group on  12/11/2008 and posted on the blog now..


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