India to have Central Marine Police Force to guard coastline

India has a vast coastline of 7,516 km touching 13 states and union territories. It also has around 1,197 islands.

New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs has completed the modalities of setting up a new armed force — Central Marine Police Force — to strengthen coastal security. A final proposal would be sent to the Cabinet by early next month for approval, a source in the ministry said on Saturday.

About the structure of the force, a senior ministry officer said, “Unlike other Central Armed Police Forces, the Central Marine Police Force will have it own cadre, rules, manual, Act, infrastructure and would be headed by a Director-General rank officer.”

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Source: telanganatoday.com

 

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RAAF deploys P-8A Poseidon to Middle East for maritime security

File image of US Navy P-8A Poseidon

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has deployed a P-8A Poseidon aircraft to the Middle East in support of a US-led internal maritime security coalition.

Australia is a member of the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC), which includes the US, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UK.

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Source: airforce-technology.com

Pakistan Navy joins Trans Regional Maritime Network

Pakistan Navy

Pakistan Navy joined 32-member Trans Regional Maritime Network (T-RMN), based in Italy. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi formally signed the ‘Note of Accession’ for joining the organization at Naval Headquarters, Islamabad. Ambassador of the Italian Republic Stefano Pontecorvo was also present at the occasion.

Trans Regional Maritime Network (T-RMN) was established in 2008 to facilitate exchange of maritime information at Trans Regional level amongst the participating nations. By joining T-RMN community, Pakistan Navy will have access to maritime related information which will augment the comprehensive maritime picture already being maintained at Joint Maritime Information Coordination Center (JIMCC) of Pakistan Navy at Karachi.

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Source: brecorder.com

Zarif: Attack on Iranian oil tanker was state-sponsored

Damage seen on MT Sabiti, images via Iranian Oil Ministry

EHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced on Tuesday that “one or more countries” had directed or facilitated the Friday morning attack on the Iranian SABITI oil tanker off the Saudi coast in the Red Sea.

Zarif also said the raid on SABITI was a “state-sponsored act”. He added, “According to received intelligence the Friday assault on the Iranian oil tanker was a complicated move done by one or more states.”

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Source: tehrantimes.com

Maritime piracy incidents down in Q3, yet Gulf of Guinea remains a hot spot

The International Chamber of Commerce International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) report for the third quarter of 2019 demonstrates fewer incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships than the first nine months of 2018.

119 incidents of Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships have been reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC) in 2019, compared to 156 incidents for the same period in 2018. Overall, the 2019 incidents include 95 vessels boarded, 10 vessels fired upon, 10 attempted attacks, and four vessels hijacked. The number of crew taken hostage through the first nine months has declined from 112 in 2018 to 49 in 2019.

While the overall number of incidents has dropped, incidents involving guns and knives remain consistent. There have been 24 knife-related and 35 gun-related incidents reported in 2019, compared to 25 and 37 for the first nine months of 2018. These statistics confirm IMB’s concerns over continued threats to the safety and security of seafarers.

Gulf of Guinea

The Gulf of Guinea remains a high risk area  for piracy and armed robbery. The region accounts for 86% of crew taken hostage and nearly 82% of crew kidnappings globally.

In July a general cargo vessel was hijacked approximately 120nm SW from Brass. Ten crew members were kidnapped from the vessel and released four weeks later. In August a bulk carrier and a general cargo vessel were boarded within hours of each other at Douala anchorage, Cameroon and a total of seventeen crew were kidnapped from the vessels. Within six weeks all kidnapped crew were released.  This incident demonstrates the range of piracy activity in the Gulf of Guinea and that all types of ships are vulnerable to attack. Lagos recorded 11 incidents in 2019, the highest number for any port.

Lagos recorded 11 incidents in 2019 – the highest number of any port in the world. Despite reporting more attacks than any other country, Nigeria has reduced Q3 piracy attacks from 41 in 2018 to 29 in 2019.

“Although incidents are down, the Gulf of Guinea continues to be a concern for piracy and armed robbery-related activities with kidnappings of crew members increasing in both scale and frequency,” said Pottengal Mukundan, Director, ICC IMB. “It is important that shipmasters and owners continue to report all actual, attempted, and suspected incidents to ensure that an accurate picture of these attacks emerge and  action is taken against these criminals before the incidents further escalate.”

Continued improvement in Indonesia

Meanwhile, Indonesia reported a decline in overall piracy related incidents with 20 actual and attempted attacks for the first nine months of 2019. Over the past five years, Indonesia has gradually reduced its share of piracy related incidents. As recent as 2015, Indonesia reported 86 actual and attempted piracy incidents through Q3. Indonesia’s impressive gains can be attributed to continued information sharing between the Indonesian Marine Police and the IMB PRC.

No incidents in Somalia, but threats remain

Meanwhile, Somalia has no piracy-related incidents recorded for the first nine months of 2019. Although no incidents have been reported, Somali pirates continue to possess the capacity to carry out attacks in the Somali basin and wider Indian Ocean. As a result, the IMB PRC advises ship owners to remain cautious when transitting these waters.

Global anti‐piracy support

Since 1991 the IMB PRC’s 24-hour manned centre, has provided the maritime industry,  governments and response agencies with timely and transparent data on piracy and armed  robbery incidents – received directly from the Master  of the vessel or its owners.

The  IMB  PRC’s  prompt  forwarding  of  reports  and  liaison  with  response  agencies,  its  broadcasts to shipping via Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) Safety Net  Services and email alerts to Company Security Officers, all provided free of cost, has helped  the response against piracy and armed robbery and the security of seafarers, globally.

IMB strongly urges all shipmasters and owners to report all actual, attempted and suspected  piracy and armed robbery incidents to the IMB PRC globally. This first step in the response  chain is vital to ensuring that adequate resources are allocated by authorities to tackle piracy.  Transparent statistics from an independent, non- political, international organization can act  as a catalyst to achieve this goal.

Source: iccwbo.org

High Court: “Pirate Attack” was Attempted Fraud

In a ruling issued Monday, the High Court of London ruled that the tanker Brillante Virtuoso was irreparably damaged not by pirates, as her owner and banker claimed, but by a group of conspirators. Justice Nigel Teare found that the owner’s claims of piracy were improbable, and he reached the “firm conclusion” that the attackers intended to destroy the vessel, that they had the assistance of the master and chief engineer as they went about the task, and that the owner orchestrated the scheme in order to defraud his insurer. 

On July 6, 2011, Brillante Virtuoso was drifting off Aden, awaiting a team of unarmed security contractors before transiting Bab el-Mandeb. A small boat approached carrying seven masked, armed men. The men informed the crew that they were “security,” and they came aboard with the master’s permission. (The disputants in the case agreed that the boarding party’s members were likely current or former Yemeni Coast Guard or Navy servicemenbers.) They ordered the crew to the day room, and escorted the master to the bridge and the chief engineer to the engine room. 

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Source: maritime-executive.com

Sailors from USS Philippine Sea rescue the crew of the Brillante Virtuoso

India starts sharing maritime data

Dinakar Peri

Information Fusion Centre — Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) was set up last year

The Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) set up last year has started functioning as an information sharing hub of maritime data and “cuing incident responses” to maritime security situations through a collaborative approach, Navy sources said.

At the just concluded Goa Maritime Conclave (GMC), National Security Adviser Ajit Doval had offered countries in the IOR use of the facility to track movement of vessels on the high seas.

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Source: thehindu.com