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News: MV Sinar Kudus Hijacked; Used As Mothership

March 16, 2011 - 20:23:04 UTC

Hijacked MV Sinar Kudus, with 20 Indonesian hostages, quickly turns around to mothership operations to carry out further attack
On March 16 at approximately 0730 UTC, it was reported to military authorities that a merchant vessel, the bulk cargo carrier, MV Sinar Kudus, had been hijacked by pirates in position 1421N 05925E, around 320nm East Northeast of Socotra Island, Yemen. The all Indonesian flagged and owned vessel, with a crew of 20 Indonesians, was able to get a report out stating that between 30 and 50 pirates had boarded the vessel. MV Sinar Kudus was en route to the Suez from Singapore at the time of the attack.
Both the Sinar Kudus and Emperor were registered with the EUNAVFOR's MSC(HOA) and had reported to UKMTO. See EUNVAFOR report here.

In an aspect of piracy tactics not seen thus far, the Sinar Kudus was used in less than 24 hours to carry out a further attack on March 17 at 0612 UTC. The Liberian-flagged MV Emperor was attacked in position 1615N 06026E, approximately 380nm Northeast of Socotra Island, by a single skiff launched from the nearby Sinar Kudus. The Emperor used the on board armed security team to repel the attack and subsequently managed to evade capture to proceed safely on its journey.

Another attack had occurred previous to the Sinar Kudus hijack. On March 15 at 0645 UTC, a bulk carrier was approached in position 1156N 05803E, around 215nm East of Socotra Island, by a skiff approaching at 23 knots, with 5 armed pirates on board from a mothership. The vessels' Master raised the alarm, took evasive actions and the armed security team fired warning shots as the skiff came within 0.8nm. The pirates aborted the attempted attack and returned to a mothership waiting at 5nm (IMB PRC).

Recent monitoring of pirate action groups and their motherships would suggest that the Greek-flagged, Panama-owned MV Irene SL, hijacked on February 9, has been used to operate as a mothership in the area. With the recent releases of MT Motivator, MV EMS River, MV Izumi and lastly, MV York, the pirates had cleared the way to enable them to recommence mothership operations using the more recent larger vessels they hold. If the reports are to be believed, Somali pirates may cut ransom demands in order to clear hijacked ships to gain a faster turnover of ships held (Reuters).

Vessels are reminded that the coalition forces' warships may not be in the vicinity of a pirate attack, subsequently, it is emphasised that seafarers can greatly reduce their chances of being pirated if they follow precautions as recommended in the Best Management Practices, increasing speed and carrying out evasive manoeuvres is a proven deterrent to piracy attacks.

Vessels are advised to exercise extreme caution when navigating in the vicinity of the reported position of the hijack and maintain maximum CPA with any ship acting suspiciously. Additionally, registration of vessel movement with MSC(HOA)prior to transiting the region is recommended.

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Any suspicious activity should be reported to UKMTO in Dubai in the first instance (
UKMTO@eim.ae or Telephone+971 50 552 3215) and on entering the UKMTO Voluntary Reporting Area (VRA) bound by Suez,78E and 10S.

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Submitted by Team@oceanuslive.org